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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    April 9, 2010
    6:30 - 10:59pm EDT  

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it is a serious consideration of where we go from here. i would like to thank the guests not only for it the work they have contributed to the terrorist prevention act, but even more, for the continued drive to ensure that the ideas that were started and then are being kept alive and refreshed. thank you both for your contributions. i would like to formally recognize you for your contributions. [applause] so, it is worthwhile to take some time to look back over the history of intelligent reform as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the office of the director of national intelligence, established by legislation a few
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months earlier, and the bipartisan reports that preceded that. although most of this is pretty dry policy, i do have some breaking news. there is going to be a new director of national intelligence very soon. donovan mcnabb. [laughter] ago, i am sorry. he is going to be director of the cia. [laughter] maybe that is a misinterpreted piece of intelligence. looking back over the intelligence community's history, going back to key milestones including the stand-
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up of dni five years ago this very month, we would like to thank the panel for the read-the head that you published this morning in the paper. that panel did a good job at -- a good job of looking at how our safety and security has been improved. i will comment a little bit on that subject as well. i very much enjoyed the final panel, which i had the chance to attend. those who were involved in it that very thoughtful panel on successful practitioners of leading the intelligence community at the highest level. what they have to say has serious weight and certainly made sense to me.
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there are really two foundational questions that i think we are addressing in our proceedings during this day. the first is at this. what progress have we made in achieving the intents of our organization? has it improved the performance of the intelligence committee? americans are impatient people. as you parents know, it is impossible to even complete undergraduate education in five years. we should be able to get this done. i will not go to the bar extent of repeating -- the afar extent of repeating the question i am asked the most often, when
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asked if the french resolution -- french revolution was successful, the commander said, "it is too soon to tell." let me offer some observations on that first question. the second foundational question i think is this. what should the intelligence community look like five years from now? how can this organization of 17 intelligence agencies until its promise of a united states that is safer from threats, better able to take advantage of opportunities, whether they are posed by nation states or non- state actors. and if there are obstacles toward achieving that vision, what are they and how can we knock them down? starting off by looking back a bit, i know that david touched on some of the history of the intelligence community already, but i think we have to
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continually remind ourselves of the extremely important context of what we are about in the intelligence community in the 21st century. the conversation we are having here today is part of our place in history. the slate is not cleaned. intelligence seems to be a secretive, uncomfortable activity that we have to do. it seems incompatible with the open society that is the foundation of the american contract. intelligent was even considered evil during the cold war period we had an implacable enemy who was impacting our very existence. but times have changed. the threat has changed.
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most of us in this room by the basic necessity for intelligence, but in the the country, fundamental questions are asked. these questions are difficult and complex. there are only going to be answered by the interaction of the two branches of government over time through a public discourse and drew national decisions. and yet, within that context, while we are reaching that national consensus, well we are getting to the next stage of what we want this intelligence enterprise to be like, what we wanted to do, what we wanted not to do. we have a job to do with the tools we have to get on with our business. so, in the rest of my remarks, i would like to talk about the
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progress that we have made, the challenge before us, and the very real steps that we can take to make the intelligence community even better and therefore, the country even safer than we are now. i think that looking back, the overall objectives that the intelligent reform and terrorist prevention act or in the target -- were on target. i think it both inspired and allowed significant improvements in the intelligence enterprise. they provide many of the tools i can use to make progress. my feeling is that the implementation of these objectives is still very much a work in progress. while the intelligence community often acts in an integrated and adult fashion, and while many are doing their best to work seamlessly together, to cross
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traditional boundaries, we often fall short of the adversaries nimbleness being used against us. we have put an even greater premium on integration and agility. i think december 25th showed us that the improvements made after 9/11 corn not enough -- were not enough for us to face tomorrow's problems. we need to cooperate in ways that are in more than our own best interests. otherwise, we can not realize the vision of a fully integrated intelligent
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enterprise. there needs to not only be a jolt -- 9/11 certainly provided one of for this country -- but there needs to be a driving mechanism. that is what my position and my staff were designed to create. we are a group that wakes up every morning worrying about nothing but improving the nation's intelligence through better teamwork. looking back five years to the beginning of dni, let's look five years forward. as we continue to improve the model, achievable goals would help us to become a much more effective intelligence community with better intelligence for everyone from the president down to the soldier in the foxhole, the u.s. aid worker, or a diplomat in an embassy. these goals are first, a country
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of the joint leaders working together instinctively. second, covert action fully integrated with the other tools of a national power. 3, relentless sharing of intelligence to support policy makers and operational officials. i will speak to each of these. let me start with this intelligence community leadership, because it really is the people who determine the effectiveness and the capability of an organization. while those at the very top, agency heads, can make a difference. the town and the accomplishments of the entire enterprise will be set by those next several players, particularly of the major intelligence agencies.
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if we are going to achieve a community that forms teams that are greater than the sum of their parts, it will be up to these people to make it happen. here is my bottom-line assessment up front of where we are. the current level of leaders in the intelligence community is very skilled in their areas of expertise. they show some flexibility in adapting the individual strength of their agencies to meet new challenges in innovative ways. however, they are often stopped short of the best solution for the country, but the boundaries of institutional prerogatives, and by traditions. already in my year on the job, i could give you multiple examples of tackling problems by throwing together enter-agency teams and teams led by officials
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at those levels that i am talking about. they pool their knowledge with a great deal of enthusiasm and come up with a solution. but when we review those after six months or seven months, we find that they have only gone a certain amount. those extra hard steps that need to be taken really involved breaking some institutional class and doing things in a new way. they have not been able to reach that. it is partly a question of authority, but also partly a question of the training, bagram, and selection of these leaders. -- background, and selection of these leaders. i find the people who are at most imaginative and least parochial are most often the junior officers out in the field, especially in war zones. i will talk about that more
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later. i see innovation, selflessness, mission and dedication, and amazing things being done. my vision is it that we will achieve success in this area when senior officials worked instinctively as a team to address important issues, when they are willing to bend their own interest to the greater good. rather than thinking of themselves only as members of a particular agency, they will naturally think of themselves as part of a larger intelligence community. here are three practical recommendations. they are in progress, but they need to be driven to build that kind of inter-agency leadership. first, every officer must serve in a joint job before he or she can be promoted to senior intelligence service. this program is under way, but we need to toughen this
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requirement so that the jobs that earn a joint duty credit are ones that really provide the capability is needed. i can tell you that want to serve a significant period of time outside of your home agency, you go back to your former duties a changed person. you have a real understanding of what can be done. second, we need more thorough succession planning within the agency, conducted by agency leadership itself, but overseen by the dni. this will ensure that officers promoted to leadership roles to truly have the right qualifications and the joint efik -- joinedethit ethic. third, we need to continue to
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improve joint education. we started a new joint training courses for entry level and senior officers of this year. we will look to continually improve them. the courses must be continually updated and refreshed. we are learning that the best practices are coming up all of the time, primarily from the fields they are in. we have to apply them back into the education so that those who are in the courses can take full advantage of them. in addition, many courses are taught by the agencies themselves. these must be broadened to cover that will range of factors that come into play when you are doing analysis and collection and the contemporary world. effective networks are things which have a great affect on the sort of activities we do like
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collection and analysis. they are developing all the time, and we have to apply those into our education system. we can do all of this. when the next generation of intelligent leaders move into the top jobs, they will more instinctively pull skills and capabilities. my most important job is to force feed, to speed up this process, so that that day arrives sooner than later. another goal that is achievable in the next five years is covert action. it is a central component of a national power that we need to strive to get right. this is our second achievable goal in five years. but we give you the bottom line up front assessment. when it comes to activities in
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which the hand of the government must be hidden, the context of these activities has changed in many ways. there are many tools that can be used where previously only covert action was applicable. secrecy over time is much more difficult now than it was in the past, banks to cameras, reporters, media. and national consensus on national security issues has diminished with the end of the cold war. my vision for covert action is that it should be an important component of an overall, integrated government approach, all integrated toward the same
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goal. the specific recommendations that i make within the government in these areas can only be discussed in classified settings. this administration is ensuring that covert action takes place within the larger policy process. when we still need to work on measures of effectiveness, how to identify them, establish them, relate resources to results. we need coordination of all of these instruments of power, and it should take place within an overall strategic framework at the highest levels. the good news here is that the field is ahead of us in washington. it is instinctive for them. there are teams tied tightly with interagency departments.
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however, much of this outstanding field corp. is dependent on personal relationships and that need to be reinforced -- much of this outstanding field cooperation is dependent on personal relationships that need to be reinforced. the third achievable goal is mortally integration -- fully integrated intelligence and analysis support. let me give the bottom line up front assessment by clicking at countering a violent extremism, how we are doing -- by looking at countering a violent extremism, how we are doing. we know the length to which of violent extremists will go to kill americans, and we are all
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working very hard to prevent it. many agencies have done excellent individual work in this area. they have all made a tremendous individual progress in their own areas, and there have been many examples of outstanding cooperation among them that did not take place in the past, but was enabled by this agency and the imperative of this challenge. but there are still gaps in the responsibilities of these organizations in sharing information. they are restrained still by institutional up legacies. the attempted bombing of an airline on christmas day exposed how much work is still to be done. we are doing a great deal of it , but it was a there is still, eight years after 9/11.
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our overall tools of assessing the contributions of each agency, and for assigning and resources and their activities, are generally quite rudimentary. we often do what we can, rather than what we should. there is an over emphasis on a near-term requirements. i am talking about challenges such as foreign languages and cultural education. it this is true for a priority mission of like countering violent extremism, and it is, it is even more true for other intelligence priorities. my vision -- how will we know when we have achieved success in this area? it is when the intelligence community can incorporate the
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intelligence from all aspects of the agencies, when we can link these contributions and the appropriate contributions of each analytical organization, when we cannot link them to the prioritized intelligence requirements of the country. second, when we can define the responsibilities appropriately for those challenges. my vision is for all information collected from all agencies to be available for all analysts who needed and are authorized to handle it. both the policy officials in washington and operational officials in the field, throughout the government, state and local, as well as federal partners. to achieve this, we are continuing the program that was
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started under my predecessor. there are objectives for separate agencies to allocate resources and to hold them to their objectives, and to hold them to their objectives, but also to make cross-agency trade- offs. we can make resources decisions of that benefit the intelligence community as a whole, rather than simply divvying up resources among competing agency needs. we have really only scratched the surface on the true information sharing. it is true that we have made much progress in this area, and i certainly salute my predecessor. he assigned seminal policy before his departure that created a model for sharing information and identifying commission needs. but in the implementation of the
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policy is very hard to do. there are countless security and technical barriers. it is hard to make our computer systems compatible with one another. it will take a dogged execution to reach our goal, which is to have information available to anyone, anywhere, constrained only by law and policy, not by technology. we are beginning to exchange information within the intelligence community itself, but that is only in itself and the beginning. we need to exchanges in permission across the federal government, and also improve sharing with state, local, and tribal governments, as well as foreign partners. every day i see flashes of the possibilities of this sort of sharing, but it will take many months of hard work to spread these examples more widely until
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they become common. success in information sharing requires that we addressed security reform at a root level. many of the barriers to sharing are largely self-imposed by practice or buy policy. this is in regard to the implementation of responsibility to provide a basis for sharing as well as technical problems, which are a part of this. we are also working on sharing information at the level of data base access. we must have access to raw material across department and agency lines. there often is not time or resources to turn databases into a finished report that can then be indexed, shared, and turned into analysis. we are developing ways to
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handle unstructured data across agency lines in a secure manner. we hope we have a system to keep up with the threat. above all, we have to ensure that the privacy and civil liberties of americans are maintained. that is an essential part of being an american intelligence community. as important as getting it right is ensuring that all of our activities take place within the bounds of our constitution and our laws. those are my three areas. when it comes down to it, i think most of us would agree that the provisions of the act were largely correct. the community needed leadership to achieve dramatic change. progress has been made in key areas, but there is much more to do. it is not so much about more
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authority. the institution mainly needs more support as it takes on these difficult tasks, and more time for some of the reforms to mature. more fiscal authority would be helpful. when i direct money and functions to be moved, i have to be able to follow up and enforce compliance. but the key goals, once again, are these. first, creating a critical mass of cross agency knowledge and experience. it is important to build from within the officers who will lead this community. change is hard. it will take a long time to overcome the rivalries between departments. i was not enthusiastic about it. i figured there was a better solution, but looking back, i was wrong.
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the armed forces are much more affected according to better today than they were at separately. i see instances of the same progress in many places in the intelligence community. in individual pockets, it has taken us incredibly long ways, but it is going to take a generation to fully changed the mind said and create the joint offices of the future. we have to learn that you can still take pride in being from an agency while you also take pride in the accomplishments of the team, what you're able to do together. i am encouraged because the younger generation that i interact with is more ready to be a player on a team. they are excited by different experiences, moving around,
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bringing things together innovatively, and that is the kind of thought that we need to encourage. those are the people who will take over this organization. my second goal is to enhance the effectiveness of covert action within integrated national security policies, guided by the principles that inform those activities. the third goal is to have a truly integrated collection and analysis, to have information sharing across the intelligence community. intelligence community elements have specialized skills. but this is one place where integrated thinking is the normal way of doing business, the expectation. that makes it more likely that all who can will be invited to contribute to solving the intelligence challenges ahead of us.
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the information will be widely shared. the concept that right now is moving this most dramatically is the concept of the mission management. some are already established in our centers. some are focused in countries like iran and north korea. some art strategic. these centers all have differences in approach because of the challenges that they face and the missions that they have but they have eight full sharing of information and a close connection to -- a full sharing of information and a close connection to policymakers. sharing of information, more than anything else, is what would make this department a real game changer.
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information is a legacy, a gift, that the framers gave to the nation. intelligent reform is really just a means to an end. it enables a policy that effectively supports national security action. it means keeping the country safe, secure, and a haven for development in the 21st century. if we can truly create a more perfect union out of the components of the intelligence community, we will eventually be able to not only create a patchwork, but removed the seems -- the seams. the motivation behind all of our discussions here today is not just what is best for us or the intelligence community, but what is best for the people of the united states.
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we have our challenges, but we are still the most formidable intelligence community and the world. . . . rational roles, but one concept was the
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transcend different parts of the community or transnational borders would be carried out effectively. how much have they taken on that role and worked to call the plays, even though they are not carrying out the flavor is? >> -- carrying out the plays? >> i see it as making sure the right plays are called and been the architect so it does its many functions terry and the intelligence community is so complex. if we are going to be quick, we have to have an empowered people down the line during their job
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based on a mission guidance, not on centralized direction, so i think my responsibility is such a structure that does the example would be the president's daily briefing, which goes across the top policy makers of the government, and i would say in that case, i do not always do it myself. i know the people doing it. we have talked about it. that analogy goes through the community. i do not have an operations center. i do not go rushing in and put a headphone of -- put headphones on. i think, are they well- supported? are the resources in place devlin it is really one step back from that to get the job done.
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-- for the resources in place? it is really one step back from that to get the job done. >> since 1947, a lot have gone out of business, yet the intelligence community below the management lovell -- level, the organization of the community remains virtually voice -- like it was in 1952 forget -- 1952. the you see any reason why that needs to be changed to improve the effectiveness of the community? >> my frame of reference for many of these is an aircraft carrier.
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you look at the world war ii aircraft carrier. there is no comparison as to what goes on inside an aircraft carrier right now. i would say the same is very much true of the intelligence community. what actually goes on is completely different from what went on with the predecessor organizations, so i think the key is to continue to evolve to meet the challenges we have. there have been some structural things -- the combining of the intelligence components of the cia into an independent agency that was done when they agency was established.
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i look less at the wiring diagrams and looked at the results in think those are better now when i left our fifth duty in 2002 and came back in 2009, there is a more capable intelligence community that i saw. i think things are removed -- things are moving in the right direction. most are impatient about seeing how much better it could save. -- how much better it could be. >> gary elliott. you spoke of the doctrine of using knowledgeable people on the periphery to deal with real time issues in a proactive,
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innovative, and risk-taking manner, and you talk about centralize management for you had to have high knowledge verses making decisions. you basically transitioned into a knowledge management organization. with the information sharing agencies we have, there is a lot of problem with the fact that they do not have the same model you have, and they do not understand the need to make the decision, to make decisions quickly in real terms. this is the front we are on now. intelligence sharing is process management, and we are doing decision making on policy, but we have to bake decision but the
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speed of knowledge. how are we going to transform from this legacy -- we have to make decisions at the speed of knowledge. how are we going to transform from this legacy? >> we allow it to be achieved through new management. >> i am an intern. my question is what is your position on the role of the homeland security in years ahead? >> i'll leave that to secretary of impala, -- napolitano, but i do have some views about what we do on the intelligence side and how the department uses that information, and i would say
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interacting with those refundable for checking people who come into the country common looking out for a threat in this country is a pretty typical relationship. week of as much intelligence to them, and they use it, and we try to do more of it, but there islam -- there are fundamental things we have to develop. a great big one is information on americans, and because national intelligence includes intelligence from domestic agencies with those overseas, and because they can move back and forth so quickly, we have had to make real adjustments to
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break down those all barriers while maintaining the rights to privacy and insurance regulations and inspections are done right, so that is another piece of it. the other piece of it i think is developing is more of dynamism in terms of what is going on off with the department of homeland security. it was not our only tool, but the primary tool was the watch list until recently, and that was a fairly static process . what we have developed in the wake of christmas day last year is a more dynamic way to use partial intelligence, something short of going on red alert for the entire country, but for them to be able to take actions that
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will make the country safer based on intelligence we are able to generate, and we continue to generate more intelligence. eventually, we would like to have the names so someone can be arrested, but this dynamism is very important, and i think that will be the model for the future. those are the vague ones reaching becoming more dynamic, and we are going in the right direction but need more speed. >> my question is who keeps score who doesn't evaluative process who makes the decisions of the implications of good or
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bad performance? it seems if we do not have a devaluation, all the rest of this is almost always of time. >> there are three or four ways you could do it. i would say the best score keeper is a demanding policy maker. if you tell us what the terrorists is stored to be as the surgeon -- at a certain location the next morning and go and arrest the, you know quickly in operational intelligence how you are doing. a demanding policy makers also owes her to knowing how well you are doing, and experienced a policy maker who tells you what you need to know about the
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political issue you are dealing with -- that will drive you pretty hard, and that is fifth to know. the third one is comparing what is done in one section with something not very well in another section. we know everything. we know everything. we have got some those are the three things -- operationally, it is pretty easy. at the policy level, a demanding policymaker who pushes us. and then trying to spread the best practices or grade ourselves against the best that we can do. >> sir, i just want to check with you and see if you would also agree with your predecessor in saying that it is time for the u.s. to move to a
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-- either to department of intelligence or to a cabinet- level intelligence official that would have authority outside of the secretary of defense. >> i am kind of pretty busy trying to work with what i have. [laughter] yes? >> i have two questions, if i might. the first question is, sir, with hindsight, do you believe you should have been more upfront with the public after the attempted bombing on christmas day? >> you will have to say it again and more slowly. >> with hindsight, do you believe you should have been more out front after the attempted bombing on christmas day? >> should we have done what? >> should we have done more for the public faith of the
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administration after the christmas day bombing attempt? >> i spend less time worrying about counting my minutes for the camera and more time counting of the accomplishments i make behind-the-scenes. it does not matter too much to meet who is out front, as long as they're getting the job done. >> given what we know about the american cleric in yemen, why did it take more than to two months for the administration to call fort hood at act of terrorism? >> to do what? >> to call for a hood and acts of terrorism in someone -- fort hood and acts of terrorism? >> labels are one thing. reality is another. from an intelligence point of view, no matter what we label in, doing something about it is what is most important to all of
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us common and the thing about fort hood that we had to fix -is bringing the information the intelligence community had to the defense department in order to take action that had it been done, we could have been able to prevent that awful tragedy, and all of that has been fixed, and it did not take two months. >> we have time for one more question. >> you said, what are the ways we know how to keep score of how we are doing is having a demanding policy maker. who are you thinking of when you say a demanding policy maker?
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>> i would say it starts of the talk, and this president and the policy team -- it starts at the top, and this president and the policy team are incredibly demanding. i told my analysts they are in a golden age because this administration wants to know what the facts are on the ground, what the possible actions aren't, and in all these big policy issues we have taken on, whether they be afghanistan and pakistan, north korean a, intelligence is playing an incredibly central role, and that role is being driven by being asked tough questions and
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coming up with the best answers weekend. also, once the policy is decided, the role of intelligence changes a little bit. as the policy is reconsidered, you provide information, but you are also in the mode of checking whether that policy is working or not based on the effect of the ground, and again, we are finding of this administration really wants to know how things are working out in a particular country on a particular issue. . there is generally not a smile on the face of the policy makers for a particularly difficult assessment of what is going on. there is appreciation.
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that is because policies need to be grounded in good realities. that is all going quite well. i would say it is really a great time to be the principal adviser to the president for intelligence. >> thank you, very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] that includes the program. four members of the press, once the room clears, there will be a brief priest -- a brief press availability this way. thank you. goodbye. thank you.
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>> tomorrow on "washington journal." scotus blog editors discuss the retirement of justice john paul stevens. later, advice for preparing your taxes with a personal finance adviser. after that, dan glickman. "washington journal" take your calls, beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. tomorrow, the southern republican leadership conference continues. we would hear from a former pennsylvania governor, the 2008 provincial -- presidential candidates, beginning at 1:00
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p.m. eastern live here on c- span. >> tomorrow, first lady michelle obama meets with students to talk about preventing a childhood obesity. in the audience were c-span studentcam filmmakers from around the country, including this year's first prize middle school winner whose documentary focused on childhood obesity in america. the first lady talks about being healthy, reading food labels, and answers to the questions. that is tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> and now, today's daily state department briefing including topics on north korea and the six-party talks. we discussed the plane incident involving the qatari diplomat. this is about 40 minutes.
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including strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, combating that threat of
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nuclear terrorism, and maintaining a safe nuclear deterrent. housetops like ratification of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty signed by president obama and president medvedev, an upcoming nuclear security summit next week advance the goals. the secretary will stress the urgency of the challenge and the need for bipartisan resolved to meet it. in sedan, a special envoy continued his discussions with the government of southern sudan, in advance of sunday's national, state, and local elections. he is back in khartoum this evening where he has met with heads of the international observer missions and with president jimmy carter -- former president jimmy carter.
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elections will begin sunday, april a 11. the sudanese people's liberation movement have announced they have withdrawn some candidates from competition, but that others may continue. we view these elections as an important step in the implementation of the peace agreement which ended a 22-year war between the north and south. this weekend is the deployment of a large number of observers -- 17,000 accredited domestic observers -- and a number of international observers, 130 from the european union, 100 from the african union, sunday -- 70 from the carter center, 74 from the united kingdom, 50 from the arab league, and a range of other smaller contributions by japan, brazil, russia, china, and the great lakes region countries as well. we want to see these elections
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conducted in accordance with established plants and in a way that reflects the will of the sudanese people. we will continue to raise concerns when we see them. we continue to work very hard with the authorities there in preparations for these elections on sunday that will continue through much of next week. we will not hesitate to state when we think these efforts fall short of international standards. staying in the region, assistant secretary for african affairs is traveling to europe and central africa. he will visit france, the republic of congo -- the democratic republic of congo, and the united kingdom. he will deliver a speech on transnational security challenges. he will meet with the number of french officials. he has requested a meeting with president in a cell -- with the
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president of a couple of countries in africa. the will continue with his trip in london where he will meet with officials of the foreign office. we posted on our website the remarks of undersecretary bo --f the undersecretary. he read that a revision on the relationship of china, highlighting the importance of engagement. he talks about four areas that could fall under our economic partnership, global architecture participation, economic stability, trade, and climate change. he will also participate in the forum over the weekend before coming back to the united states. regarding pakistan, we congratulate their political parties, parliament, and the members of the constitutional reform committee on effectively tackle during -- effectively
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tackling major issues. we applaud the efforts taken by pakistani political leaders to achieve national consensus on political reform. speaking of pakistan, the deputy secretary has arrived in pakistan and had productive meetings today with the foreign minister rashid and the adviser to the prime minister on finance -- to with the -- with the foreign minister qureshi and the adviser to the prime minister and finance. we met with civil society leaders from iraq and afghanistan. he visited with representatives from the national parliament including the press parliamentary president. as part of the missions work in afghanistan, u.s.a.i.d. assisted in the construction of building
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the building where parliament works. he met with u.s.a.i.d. staff. our assistant secretary for the western hemisphere affairs is concluding his a trip to the region. he is in power today and met with the president there as well as the foreign minister to discuss our range of bilateral interests. he will also meet with peruvian analysts and opinion leaders and political leaders. he will travel to san martin tomorrow. earlier today, in geneva, the u.s. and russian negotiators held their last plenary session in conjunction on the s.t.a.r.t. treaty, which the president signed in prague yesterday. it is fitting to thank our chief negotiators and the
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negotiating team. the negotiations began last april in rome. president obama and medvedev instructed them to include a new treaty to include on the start s.t.a.r.t. -- on that s.t.a.r.t. treaty. the interagency team engaged in intense negotiations with their russian counterparts. the delegation was guided by instructions and support from washington, succeeded in concluding a treaty that needs the security interests of both sides. we will welcome rose back to office. she will be back in the office on monday. moving to cut our -- qatar, regarding the in a corporate officer behavior on a flight this week, the foreign minister
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has decided to reassign its diplomat and we expect him to leave the country shortly. law-enforcement officials have indicated there were no explosives with the diplomat and he was not engaged in terrorist activity. we take all federal regulations regarding air travel seriously. we're satisfied that qatar also recognized the serious of the situation and have taken appropriate steps. we're grateful that we were able to resolve this rapidly. together, we will get back to focusing on the important regional issues that reflect our strong partnership, including a pursuit of middle east peace. regarding kurdistaryrgyzstand -r gyzstan, we want to see the
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situation resolved peacefully. we want a say the interim administration resolve to a democratic transition -- we want to see the interim administration resolve to a democratic transition. we welcome their commitment to a six-month interim process that will lead to new elections and democratic governmentance. we welcome our relaxation of recent restrictions on the coverage there. we support the people of kyrgyzstan. >> can we move to russia really briefly? you've seen the comments about russia?
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>> i have not seen the particular comments. i'm wondering if there's any response to those -- >> i am wondering if there is any response to those. >> regarding the latest case, we're obviously very troubled by it. this job, as with all of the children involved in adoptions between russia and united states, they are u.s. citizens and russian citizens. we in short -- we share responsibility to ensure their welfare. we have been in touch with the russian officials and are cooperating with them as we resolve this most recent case. the issue of adoptions between the united states and russia was a subject that the foreign minister brought up with the secretary when she was recently in moscow. we will continue to work very closely with russia and would
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accredited adoption agencies to see how we can improve the situation and ensure the welfare of any children. bamut is the suspension warranted? >> -- >> is the suspension warranted? >> we will continue to work with our counterparts in russia. it is an effort that can bond russian families in american families -- a north dakota american families together. -- and american families together. >> i was looking for a yes or no answer. >> there are american couples that desire adoption. we want to see adoption's proceed. we want them to proceed safely, and in ways that guarantee the welfare of these children with any country. if any country has questions --
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we take our responsibilities seriously in facilitating international adoptions. as you saw recently in the context of haiti, we work very hard to make sure that adoptions are legal and appropriately executed, appropriately monitored. we take this seriously. as to what the rush and government will do -- the russian government will do, and the russian children and citizens -- would cooperate closely with russia as adoptions move forward -- we cooperate closely with russia as adoptions move forward. we can work through recent cases. this is not the only one. there are a number of them in the recent past, including this one case where the child, unfortunately in tragically ended up dead -- unfortunately
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and tragically ended up dead. we continue to work closely with international adoption agencies who are accredited. this is still a potential area of the important cooperation between countries. to the extent that russia has questions, we will seek to answer those. >> it is a fine answer. i wanted the question i asked to be answered. is it warranted for them to be suspended? >> to the extent that russia has questions, we will seek to provide answers and assurances. >> does that mean no, you do not think it is appropriate or warranted? >> we understand the concern that the foreign minister has about this issue. if russia chooses to suspend these adoptions, these are russian citizens. that is their right. we would like to see the
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adoption's continue. we understand the concerns they have. we share those concerns. we continue to work closely with russia to resolve this. >> the long and short is there is no yes or no answer to this? >> do you actually nknow if russia had suspended the adoptions? >> i have not seen foreign debt -- i've not seen the foreign minister's comments. >> nor would you have any other reason to believe -- >> if russia does suspend cooperation on adoption, that is their right. these are russian citizens. we think that the center-country adoptions are important and valuable. we have parents here in the united states that want to open their homes to children from
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throughout the world. we think this is something that is very important. it is part of our relationship with many countries around the world. to the extent that there are legitimate questions from russia about the welfare of russian children that come into american homes, we'll understand that concern and share it, and we are cooperating closely with russia in this case and all cases. we will work through these issues. at the bottom -- both governments have a responsibility and right. >> are you aware of any embassy officials who were turned away from visits to the boy in the hospital? there were reports that embassy officials went to visit and were turned away. there are reports there were physical altercations. >> i am not familiar with those reports. >> can you bring us up to speed on what the embassy has on the specific case and the plans going forward?
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>> we are working in through the embassy -- we're working through the embassy to ensure the challenges of safety and confirm the child's in the custody inappropriate russian child care services. the quarter and eight -- in the custody of the appropriate russian child care services. >> do you know any further determination? >> i do not know. at this point, it would be conjecture. we're doing what you expect us to do. on this end, we have notified authorities in tennessee who are looking into the circumstances under which the child was sent to russia. >> do you have any state department people in tennessee? >> this would be a matter for
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domestic authorities. when we found out about the incident and the fact the child traveled to russia and accompanied, we notified state authorities there. >> the sheraton -- the sheriff says there were alerted by the state department. >> i thought i just said that. when they first learned about this case, we notified tennessee authorities and they are investigating. i am not aware that we have our own personnel in tennessee. as to domestic issues like this, reversed to other agencies -- it reverts to approve a disease or local authorities. as to an investigation of the specific circumstance involved
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in this family, that isn't in the state authorities will do. >> i want to clarify. you knew yesterday about this incident? >> i do not have a specific time line. the child traveled two days ago. we learned about it yesterday. you said a diplomat would leave shortly. do you know house and? >> i refer you to the embassy of the country. >> in terms of that decision did the u.s. government relate its news to the embassy before it actually made its final decision? >> we have had multiple conversations with the government of catarrh -- cotter -- qatar. we talked to the foreign ministry today and we're satisfied that we have -- that there will be actions taken that they informed us about. >> did you ask them to make this
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move? >> i think we express the seriousness which we attach to the incident, the fact that the individual violated a federal regulation. the qatari iinformed us they would reassign this individual and we appreciate that. >> there is a chill atmosphere for the six-party talks. any comment on that? >> i think north korea should understand that, you know, its actions have consequences. north korea has known for quite some time what the international community and the united states expected north korea. we want to see the denuclearization of the crimean
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peninsula -- of the korean peninsula. north korea can benefit from improved relations with the united states and the international community. their failure to take those steps over many years and their reluctance to move on the obligations that north korea itself agreed to back in 2005 -- there are consequences and ramifications. in our nuclear posture review, we have taken note of our concerns on non-proliferation and clearly you have to -- two clear cases that reflect our global concerns. north korea being one and a run being the other. -- and i ran being the other. -- and iran of being the other. if they take affirmative steps
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towards denuclearization, they have nothing to fear from the nuclear posture review that we released. >> can you confirm that it wrong, north korea, and syria -- iran, north korea, and syria were not invited to next week's conference? >> that is a safe assumption. >> why is that? >> the government that will be in attendance next week are -- have shown a willingness to work cooperatively within the international community to strengthen the security of nuclear weapons and nuclear knowledge. the three countries that you just mentioned, north korea, iran, and syria, have steadfastly either refused or failed to cooperate effectively with the iaea.
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we're strengthening the non- proliferation regime to be able to deal with those countries that pose significant challenges to our long-term success. >> why would a country remain nameless -- while the country, which shall remain nameless, which also does not cooperate with the iaea be invited? >> but titular country has demonstrated a track record in terms of -- a particular country has demonstrated a track record in terms of cooperating on these issues, demonstrating responsibility with respect to nonproliferation issues. on that basis, we think they are part of the solution and not part of the problem.
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>> are you referring to bachus don? >> i am just reacting. -- are you referring to pakistan? >> i am just reacting. >> what country are you talking about? >> i was asked a hypothetical question and i gave a hypothetical answer. >> i am asking you a direct question. >> what is the question? >> were you referring to what is done? -- to pakistan? you were referring to israel. [laughter] can i stay with israel for a second? what is their track record? >> on the one hand, israel is not a party to the non- proliferation treaty. it has not violated specific obligations. that said, it has a civilian nuclear program and it has a
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demonstrated track record of protecting the technology in its possession. >> go-ahead -- go ahead. but i think that pakistan -- >> i think that pakistan is the country in which the greatest nuclear proliferation has ever taken place. i wonder if you can address why it is useful or why you are convinced that pakistan has or will in the future demonstrate out commitment to prevent the spread of nuclear technology and know-how. >> we want to see pakistan be part of the solution in the future. it has been part of the problem in the past. pakistan has been a source of
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proliferation. at various times in the past, we have taken specific steps against pakistan as a result. that said, pakistan recently has demonstrated a willingness to help the national community -- the international community shut down the network. we still have questions about that and pursue those with pakistan. it has demonstrated that it can secure its own nuclear weapons program. and we have confidence in the steps that pakistan has taken. you're quite right. pakistan has been a source of concern in the past. it has been a significant discussion. had significant discussions with pakistan on these issues. if we're going to strengthen the nonproliferation regime going forward, we want to see
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pakistan invested in this process. to the extent that other countries demonstrate to their -- demonstrate their cooperation with the international community, that they are willing to assume that same responsibility, then the door would be open for further cooperation. in the case of the three countries noted earlier, they are noted right now for their refusal to cooperate with the international community. [inaudible] >> american samoa north korea presented -- has north korea presented any issues in purges of the in the six-party talks? >> there is nothing standing in their way except themselves. north korea, for whatever reason, continues to fail to see its own long-term self-interest. north korea knows what it needs
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to do. that has been clear in the many, many discussions that we have had with north korea for many months in years. ambassador steve bosworth made that clear when he met in pyongyang been in december. at that time, north korea expressed an interest in moving back into the six party process. all they have to do is finally say, yes, come to the table. have a meaningful discussion gutted of the steps that they have pledged, in the past, to take. there are lots of possibilities. which made clear to them -- there are reducible to do if you expect reap some benefits -- we have made clear to them, there are things you need to do if you expect to reap some benefits.
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>> can i go back to israel and the non nuclear -- there is a report in an israeli newspaper that says that the u.s. is denying visas to israeli nuclear scientists who want to come to the states. is there not -- can you say anything about that? >> without commenting on individual bees a determinations, which are governed by -- vids did your -- visa determinations, which are governed by some privacy, we have continued to issue visas. there has been a policy change that has not been a policy change. we continue to support exchanges with the israeli scientific and academic communities. >> so the report is wrong? >> to the extent -- the report is.
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we have -- the report is wrong. >> is there any reaction to iran's announcement today about enriching uranium that is 10 times as powerful? >> as you know, we had an important meeting in the new york of today -- in new york yesterday, regarding working with countries involved in this issue and the prospect of a resolution on adding sanctions. for countries that are involved in this process -- any doubt about what we need to do -- everyone should continue to listen to leaders in iran. the ongoing chest-thumping about the nuclear program -- if a run
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-- if i ran -- if you run -- if iran -- iran does not have a need to do what they're doing any faster. if they continue to add to their own indictment of why we're pursuing the steps we are -- >> will that affect sanctions? >> if we're looking to strengthen the indictment against them, we should just see what they continue to say. commons today provide greater evidence -- comments today provide greater evidence. we have to conclude that they have nefarious intentions with their nuclear program and that is why we continue to work with the international community all
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additional sanctions to show them there are consequences for failure to meet their obligations. >> to two quick questions on two different topics. egypt and a joint letter by a number of rights groups -- human rights groups urging the secretary to urge egypt to take democratic reforms. is it true -- did you have a reaction to that? what is the u.s. doing in that regard? >> i did look at a letter. it is consistent with the statement that we made here in the last couple days. we believe that all individuals should be able to exercise fundamental freedoms involved in the declaration of human rights. we think all egyptians should have a role to play -- a meaningful role to play in an open, transparent, inclusive
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political process. that belief is central to our value system and our foreign policy. it is also in egypt's long-term interest. we continue to support a free and impartial election in egypt and we make that clear to the government of egypt. >> how are you expressing that to the egyptians, other than saying it here? >> this is part of our ongoing dialogue with egypt. it was clear in the human rights report, in the section on egypt that we originally released, it is part of our ongoing encouragement about moving forward that they have to open up the system to a wider range. >> one question is about the treasury sanctions on the leaders owith kingpin
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designations. can you explain the concerns about drug traffic through west africa and what this is meant to avoid? >> it is a major transit hub for narcotics from south america to europe. there are credible reports that correction, says of the coup the complexity of government officials of all levels, -- specifically the complicity of government officials all levels, helps this. but to individuals who have been designated as drug trafficking -- the two individuals who have been designated as drug trafficking keenan's -- kingpin s have been designated so because we believe they are involved in significant international drug trafficking that affects united states. >> what was discussed in the recent meeting in tokyo?
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>> how recently? >> i believe it was yesterday or the day before. >> i do not have a readout. >> can you check on that? >> the meet all the time. it would not surprise me if they discussed are ongoing dialogue with them regarding the alignment activity. i do not know the specific terms. if there is anything that we -- the easiest thing to do is refer you to the embassy. dram>> you mentioned that an air base is being reduced. there were mentions of new authorities there to close down the base. do you have any reaction to that? >> my understanding from the pentagon is that we have resumed
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full operations there. we do have an agreement in effect regarding the operations on that base. it is a valuable transit center. it is central to our efforts to support operations in afghanistan that have benefits to the region, including to kurdistan -- kyrgyzstan. the issue came up in the meeting yesterday. we will continue that dialogue to the extent that the administration continues to raise questions about it. >> was it that authorities demanded the closure? >> no. if i understand, she indicated that she has questions about the
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future of the base. we will continue that discussion. >> i heard yesterday that it had not come up. >> i do not think i said that. i might have said it did come up. >i think i said she did not make any particular demands, but she did say she has questions. >> israeli officials have said that prime minister netanyahu will not come to is some and they -- will not come to the summit and then cited concerns about egypt and turkey and their weapons capability. they are quoting the senior egyptian officials in cairo
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saying that egypt and other arab nations have no intention of raising israel. do you think they will raise the topic in the meetings? >> i have no idea. bamut is this -- could the state department confirmed -- >> could the state department confirmed the situation in mexico? >> i will take that question. have a nice weekend. thank you. >> this is c-span, public affairs programming courtesy of america's cable companies. coming up next, a look at the life and career are retiring
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supreme court justice john paul stevens. then, president obama on justice stevens and the coal mining accident in west virginia. after that, michigan congressman bart stupak announces he will not run for reelection. . >> this is about 35 minutes. >> you are in the office of two of my law clerks.
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they work in here and i come in a lot. i learn about the law from them. >> i think that was taken the day that justice o'connor was sworn in, if i am not mistaken. it was taken in the conference room that day. >> what is the difference between the court then and the court now? >> 8 different justices is the main difference. the eight that are in that picture have all been succeeded by my present colleagues. >> is there a difference in the way the court operates today? is that determined by a chief justice?
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>> it is pretty much determined by how it has been operated over the years. there is much more continuity than -- more continuity in the way we do our work than there is change. when a chief justice is presiding in conference, each chief justice has his own method of presiding at the conference. i think the present chief justice is doing an excellent job. he has some virtues the others did not have. he follows the tradition that has been followed for many years. >> you get about 80 cases a year. in those days, were there more? if there were, why -- from a perspective, how many cases should you have? >> the number we handle now is about right. maybe we should do 100. there were well over 151 i started. that was a very heavy workload.
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there are a number of reasons for the change. we no longer have the mandatory jurisdiction that applied when chief justice berger was here. we have more control over our docket we do a better job for the most part in picking cases, although i think we should take a few more than we do. >> what is your relationship with the people in this room. how many cooks do you have? >> i do not remember what number it is. they play a very important role in two or three different ways. the review all the crt -- vp certhe cert petitions and make memos on those i might have a likelihood of granting.
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the opinion says -- the opinions i produce -- i always write a first draft and they convert it from a draft to opinion and make it better than it started out. >> tell us what this room is used for. >> this is the room where my secretary -- assistant secretary -- both are in this office. there is room for visitors to sit and see what the place looks like. >> what kind of visitors do you get and how easy is it to come see you? >> it is not all that difficult. usually, we are pretty busy. that schedule is limited by the availability of time. it is a full-time job. we spend a lot of time reading briefs ahead of time and talking over cases. of course, the major work is in writing opinions and finishing those up.
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>> did you total how many hours a week you have to read? >> i do not know. it is a lot more than 40. >> how many hours a day? what is your pattern? >> i am an early morning person. i do quite a bit of work early in the morning and am pretty well prepared. i have flexibility. on days in which we are not sitting, i can work at home. what computers do for us -- i can work at home and i can read at home. it is a totally optional schedule. >> where is this office located in the court itself? >> this is in the northwest corner of the building. >> have you always been in this space? >> i have been in four different chambers. i started just down the hall in the chambers that are referred to as the retired chief justice's chambers.
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i moved into chambers that justice o'connor is now occupying. after that, i moved into the chambers that justice scalia occupies now, which had previously been occupied by justice stuart. i took over when he retired. before that, just as black had been in those chambers. there had only been three justices in the chambers. >> let me ask you about this portrait on the wall. who is that gentleman? >> that is wiley rutlidge, a great justice for whom i clerked in the 1947 term. he is one of my heroes. >> he was -- who was he? >> he was a judge here.
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before that, the district of columbia circuit. before that, the dean of a law school. he taught at other law schools during his career as well. >> what year did you clerk for him? >> 1947. >> what did you learn from that experience that you still hold on to? i learned an awful lot. i learned to take the time to write out your own draft opinions so you are sure you understand the case before you turn it over to someone else to work on. i learned that every case is important, not just where there is a lot of money involved or a big public issue. every case is important to the people involved in it. >> back to writing the first draft -- is that unique to you? >> i cannot speak for my colleagues. i am not sure they all do, but one of the reasons i did that is
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that justice rutledge used to write them out on a yellow pad. now we do them on computers. he would write in longhand a full first draft and then his secretary would type it up. usually, that was it. we might supply some footnotes or suggestions but he did the whole thing himself. >> what has been your philosophy of the length of an opinion you would write? also, the dissent the right sometimes or the concurrent opinion? >> i tried to keep them a short as i can, but sometimes you take more pages than people think you should. i use footnotes because i think footnotes are optional reading. i think people might gain from having the opportunity to read it but do not have to read it to understand the argument and the opinions.
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i am one of those old timers to think what notes provide a useful function. some of my colleagues think you should never use footnotes. a lot of scholars feel that way, too. they think it is important enough to be included in the opinion it ought to be worked into the text. if it does not belong in the text, save space by leaving it out. >> how does an opinion change in length from the first draftee right to the time it is finished? >> sometimes, it does not change much at all. sometimes it goes shorter, sometimes longer. more often, it becomes a little longer. i am a fan of shorter opinions if it is possible, which cannot always do. >> on your wall is a number 22 baseball jersey. what is that from? >> that was a gift from my law clerks a few years ago because they know i am a cubs fan.
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it encouraged my continued interest in the cubs. >> when did you throw out the first ball? >> it was three years ago. do you have a picture of that? >> i do not. i think it was three years ago. that was the highlight of my career. [laughter] all my grandchildren, or most of them, were there. i was a hero that day. i was much more important than my job. i threw it high and wide. i had to practice. >> more pictures on your wall or from what? >> the first one is a picture of gerald ford and's funeral -- of gerald ford's funeral. there were a couple letters he wrote to me that i was very
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proud of. this was a picture that was taken at the swearing in of the vice president in january. i have a picture of my colleagues on the court of appeals for the seventh circuit. the one at the top is the vincent court, for which i clerked. >> you clerked for rutledge in 1947. this court here -- >> i served from 1970 to 1975. this is the court i joined, the one at the bottom. >> the seventh circuit -- where is it located? >> wisconsin, illinois, and indiana. >> what was your learning experience on the seventh circuit? >> i learned a lot about federal
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law, of course. i served with some awfully good judges. for example, in that picture, tom czech -- tom fairchild was the chief judge. i learned a lot from him. >> what is the difference between a circuit court of appeals and a supreme court? >> on the circuit court you are more bound by precedent then you are here. if there is a decision, the court of appeals is required to follow it, whereas in this court there are many more open questions that have not been finally resolved. you have more of a duty to decide things for the first time that have not been faced before. >> let us go into your main office. you have been in a lot of different offices. does the atmosphere you are working in matter to you?
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>> actually, it does not. i enjoyed the office. i have a wonderful view of the city from my desk. the most important part of the office is the computer. wherever you are, you spend a lot of time reading. behind your desk are a number of pictures. can you give us an overview? >> most of them are family. president ford, justice rutledge, a picture of my former law partners. who is this? >> that is my wife. that was taken a few years ago. this was my parents. my three daughters and my wife in that picture. >> give us some background on your parents >>. >> that is a long story.
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they both lived a long time. probably the most notable part of their career -- my dad was responsible for building a hotel in chicago. he was in the hotel business. he was also a lawyer. he studied at northwestern back in the days of with more. >> you were at northwestern law. not that usual to have somebody on the court from northwestern. i went to law school at northwestern but did my undergraduate work at the university of chicago. >> is there a difference going to a midwestern school? so many justices are from stanford and harvard. >> every school has its virtues and strengths.
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northwestern had a final school when i went to it. it still has a final law school. there are fine law schools all over the country. i have hired law clerks from many different schools who have done a magnificent job even though they were not from the ivy league's. >> i read that you were the top student in the history of the northwestern law school. >> i have been told that was true. i do not know about the record since then, but i was told that was the case. >> with all your experience at northwestern law school, your job as a clerk here, service in the seventh circuit, and a father that was an attorney, where did you get your thoughts? >> it is a combination of many things. they combine to give you your views of what the law is. a lot of it is the result of
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your reading. a lot of it is your own experience. for example, my experiences during world war two have shipped by thinking in some cases. i was in the navy. my experience as a lawyer had an impact on the work i have done, my experience on the seventh circuit. there are a lot of things that combined to affect my view of the law. >> when you're sitting on the bench, looking out at the court during an oral argument, what do you see that we do not see? >> one thing i often remember -- the first time i argued before the court, i was surprised by how close i was to the justices. i thought -- i think to myself, "he is thinking the same thing. he did not expect to be quite as intimate and experience as it really is. you are having a conversation
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with the people on the other side of the bench." it is an interesting experience. >> have you been here long enough when the bench itself was straight? >> that change was made a year or two before i got here. since i was a justice, it has always been an old at the sides. when i was a law clerk, it was a straight bench. >> where is your favorite spot in the court? what remedy like the best? >> i have not really thought that through. i suppose that i enjoy the oral arguments. i like the court room. i enjoy my own office. one of the most interesting places is the spiral staircase. it is worth seeing if you can. >> have you spent much time studying the history of this place? >> i picked up a good deal of
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history but have not made an independent study of it. some people have made that of the white house, for example. >> what are those books behind you? >> those are u.s. reports. i forget just what. they are the last 40 years of reports. >> what does it mean? what are u.s. reports? >> they are the reports of the decisions by the court. those include all the majority opinions and all the dissenting opinions. >> we have read four years that you have figured out a way to spend part of your time here and part of your time in florida. what has been your philosophy? when did you start spending a couple of months in florida and doing work down there? >> it has been at least 25
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years. perhaps more. part of that is the product of the computer. communication with the office here, even when you are working there -- it is the kind of job that you do not have to be in the office to perform. you can read briefs and do other research without being in the office. you can write opinions without being in the office. i do just as much work when i am in florida as i do here, except i do not hear oral arguments. sometimes, they read briefs sitting at the beach -- i read brief sitting at the beach. i remember feeling the breeze on the bench one day. it made my neighbor's a little jealous. >> when you are around washington, the supreme court justice is somebody everyone knows.
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i am sure you have found yourself in the supermarket -- >> never. >> do they know who you are? >> the only time i can remember being recognized when i am doing the shopping or something was renting a video. i do not know what the name of the outfit was. the guy who owned the store had been admitted to the bar a couple weeks earlier. he recognized me. apparently, he was both a lawyer and an entrepreneur. i am almost never recognized, which is nice. i just do the shopping and nobody knows who i am. >> let us go back to the cert pool we talked about. what does certificatithat mean? >> it is a statutory writ that a
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party files in this court, which is a request for this court to grant review of the peace and send it for argument. i do not know how many thousand petitions we get every year, but the cases come out of that number that are filed. >> how many justices participate in any cert pool, and what is it? >> it has varied. when i joined the court, there were six justices in it. i did not join it because having been a law clerk years earlier i had some familiarity with the process. i thought i could handle cases more efficiently myself without participating in these memos prepared for a group of justices. there were six then.
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afterwards, every justice to join the court has joined the pool. there have been eight, with this one exception. last year, justice alioto decided to do his independently to. -- justice alito decided to do his independently, too. >> why did you decide not to join the pool? >> i thought i could handle the cases more efficiently independently because the memo as they prepare are thorough and carefully written but a lot longer than i thought was necessary in order to make a decision on whether it will be granted. >> what does that do to your personal workload order clerks -- or your clerks' workload? >> i think it makes it a little less. they divide them up. they do not have to write
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memoranda in every case. they read more petitions are right fewer memoranda so it cancels out. >> wants eight petition is accepted -- where does that happen? >> once a week, unless we are on recess, we have a conference and review all the petitions that have come in since the last conference. we vote on whether to grant or deny them. if for justice's vote to grant, it is granted. -- if four justices vote to grant, it is granted. all justices are present and no one else is present. our deliberations are entirely off the record. >> what is that conference room like? >> it is a big room with a big table and nine chairs around the table. when we get through, we
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sometimes have a copy sent in. they're bright the cookies or something. >> how formal is that meeting? >> it is informal in the sense that everybody is congenial. there is a certain amount of conversation. mostly, it is business. we are fairly rigid in talking in order of seniority. sometimes, after we have discussed a case, we will talk about it a little further. usually, it is through after warren go around the table. >> you are senior. >> i am a senior in age and years of service, but the chief justice goes first. >> when you can on this court did you think you would be here 34 years? >> no.
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in fact, i had a law clerk named stewart baker in my second or third year. i asked him to prepare a memorandum for me on the ages at the time of all my predecessors and to suggest the age i should plan on retiring. i thought then and i still do that some judges are not the best judge of when they should retire. i thought it would be helpful to have that guidance. i did not follow his recommendations. >> what did he suggest? >> i cannot remember, but the years have gone by. >> you are close to be the -- close to being the longest serving justice in history and the oldest justice in history. does that enter your thinking? >> i am not out to break any records. i just enjoy the work. each year, i have thought about it and decided i could continue to enjoy it and continue to make
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a contribution. >> what do you do at age 89 to stay as healthy as you are? >> i play a lot of tennis. i do not play as much golf as i used to. in florida, i go swimming every day. i go to the tennis club three times a week. >> is that painting over the mantle of any significance? >> no. that is queen victoria as a young lady. apparently, that is a portrait that is in a number of the school's in england. >> would you sit over here at your desk so we can get you a little more comfortable? out that window is the capital. >> that is right. but the court in perspective for the public in a town like this, where we have a president and
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this building across the street from the capital. >> it is an independent branch of the government. if a federal question is raised, it has to resolve it with the best ability it can. >> does it do it the way you want it to do it? >> sometimes. sometimes not. while i have been here and throughout the history of the court, there are cases that are very difficult. there will be a difference in just -- difference in judgment by different members of the court. when you are not in the majority, do which they had decided it the other way. you might think the world would be better off if they decided it the other way. >> are their cases that mattered more to you than others? >> i am sure there are. if you ask me which one is the most significant, i have to say the ones i am working on
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currently are always the most significant. that changes from time to time. >> which one had the most reaction or the biggest sensation in the country? >> you sit here and write these opinions. all of a sudden, they are all over the news. do you pay attention to that? >> i read the papers. but our work in the work of other courts -- you have to let others decide which are the most significant. >> do you plan, when you retire, that your papers will eventually be released for the public? >> i think i will send them to the library of congress. >> in the case of justice marshall, they were released fairly early. >> i do not remember the exact date i have arranged for it. >> go back to rutledge, the justice use served as clerk.
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were there other justices in history that made a difference to you? >> yes indeed. >> why? >> because of the quality of their work. there have been some truly great justices that have sat on the court. >> are there some you can mention? >> brandeis. the ones we often mentioned. justice holmes was an exceptional justice. my good friends stweart and whitewart and white or gray justices. >> what makes a just as great? >> the quality of his work is the main thing, i think. you judge the work product the produce on the court. >> but what is quality here? what makes quality? what makes good writing?
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>> i do not know. i don't feel ready to give a lesson in english grammar and the rest. you have to be able to write clearly, accurately, and honestly about the issues. >> we were talking about earlier -- the court, when you disagree with them, what is your option if they are sitting in a conference and the vote not your way? what role does your dissenting opinion play in the law? >> sometimes, it becomes persuasive later on. sometimes, it does not. i do not write the sense trying to change the law. i just think it is part of the job of the justice to explain his or her vote. i think the process is an open process, in the sense that this is one institution that explains
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in a public way what it decides and what it does. i think that when there is difference within the court on how a case should be decided, it is appropriate for those who disagree to explain why they thought the other side had the better of the argument. >> you have been active in oral argument? we run them once a week on our radio station and i listened to them. i hear you. what is your philosophy of participation during an oral argument? >> my philosophy is to ask questions when i think the answer might give me help in deciding a case. i do not view the participation of a justice as an opportunity for the justice to advocate one point of view. i think whatever the questioning should be is designed to help understand what the arguments on both sides are and enable a justice to reach a decision on
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his or her own views. >> how often do you change your mind on the case after the oral argument? >> sometimes. i cannot tell you the number, but it has happened. it has happened when i have written opinion. that is one reason i think it is important for a justice to do the first draft. when you try to write something out, you sometimes learn things about the case you did not fully appreciate or understand before. there has been more than one case in which i have changed my views when i was writing the opinion. >> if a young man or woman comes into your office, 17 years old, and says to you "i want to be a justice someday," what the advice do you give them along the way? is it possible you can decide at a young age you want to be a supreme court justice? >> i do not know. i did not decide at the age of
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17. i cannot remember talking to anyone age 17 who asked me for that advice. >>the basic rule is to study had and do the best job you can in understanding what you can learn in college. >> do you think in the future -- this is a court that has every member, a history of serving on a circuit court of appeals. they are all circuit court veterans. is that something that is going to be expected from now on four justices? >> that is something future presidents are going to have to decide. i think it is healthy for the court to have members with different backgrounds. i saw a television program recently where somebody said it should always be someone who had served in the armed forces. i think there should always be someone who has some practical
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experience in litigation. i think experience in other branches of the government, such as the legislatures, would be very helpful. for example, justice o'connor had experience in the legislature. she made a significant contribution to deliberation because of that experience. in my own case, the experience i had as a staff attorney on a legislative committee taught me a great deal about legislation. i know it affected my work in trying to interpret statutes. i think differing backgrounds is a plus. >> what year did you serve on the judiciary subcommittee? >> that was 1951. >> who was the chairman? >> he was a democrat from brooklyn. chauncey reed was the senior
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minority member. he was a republican from illinois. i was hired by him. >> last question on that. what role did the legislative history play when you think about a case that comes to you? >> is always significant. i think our job is to try to figure out what congress intended to do in enacting a statute. i can remember being asked by members of the committee about tricky questions that could be presented in the case and explaining to one congressman some of the difficulties i saw. he answered, "we will let the judges figure that out." congress expect the judges to help fill in the holes in a statute as it goes along, realizing it is not just trying to read words in a sterile piece of paper.
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>> thank you, justice stevens. >> supreme court justice john paul stevens has announced he will step down when the court finishes its work for the summer. he is about to turn 90. he was appointed by president ford in 1975 and has been hinting for months that he would retire. this will be president obama's second supreme court appointment. his first was justice system where. -- justice sotomayor. >> the retirement is not a big surprise. the white house has had time to plan. what has the administration said about the type of nominee will be looking for to replace justice stevens? >> the president spoke about that this afternoon.
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you want somebody who is going to respect the law and so forth. the most significant thing he said was that he was looking for someone who understood the needs of average americans who would uphold their rights to participate in society against powerful interests, suggesting he is going to sound the same theme he did at the state of the union, when he criticized the recent decision regarding corporate political spending. >> who are some of the potential nominees that will get serious scrutiny? >> the president went through this last year so the white house has some experience. the three names we have been hearing at the top of the list are the current solicitor general, elena kagan. she represents the administration at the supreme court. solicitors general have often provided a farm team for future justices.
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she clerked for thurgood marshall. he was solicitor general when he was appointed. she went to harvard law school and at 49 is relatively young for such a position. she could be expected to serve a long time on the court. the judges under consideration -- one who was interviewed last night, diane wood, is on the court of appeals in chicago. she knows the president from a time when both were teaching at the university of chicago law school. he was in the state senate at the time. she worked in the justice department in the clinton administration. the third is judge washingtomerk garland. he served in the clinton administration as well. he has, like other judges on his court, had a lot of national security related cases. >> a senator said he would like
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confirmation hearings by midsummer. how has the political picture changed on capitol hill sensed sonya sotomayor was confirmed last year? >> there is one less democrat in the senate, meaning the power to stop a filibuster is no longer present. also, the republicans feel more emboldened than they did last year and have been stepping up attacks on all kinds of obama policies and obama judicial nominees. they have been asserting they are unacceptable because of their philosophical approach to the law. so republicans are much more bold. they believe that the judicial vacancy question plays well with their supporters. the message they have, when it comes to the federal bench, motivates their side. that might bring over some
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independence. traditionally, it has seemed to be something the republicans or conservatives get more motivated by than democrats and liberals. >> will he be remembered in his legacy as a liberal judge? >> he will. justice stevens is a republican. he considered himself to be a moderate conservative when he was nominated in 1975. his patron was another moderate republican from illinois, senator charles percy. he has said that while he stayed in the same place the court has moved to the right around him. in relative terms, he will be remembered not just as a liberal justice but as someone who came by the end of his tenure on the court to embody some of the liberal themes of jurisprudence that dominated much of the 20th century. in his last years in the court, he wrote majority opinions or descents trying to uphold what i
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think he viewed as the precedents and doctrine that he thought had been established and accepted. >> covering the retirement of justice stevens, jess bravin of "the wall street journal." our interview included a discussion on the impact of retirement. this is what some of the justices have to say. >> to some extent, it is unsettling. the court is composed of these members. it becomes hard to think of it as involving anyone else. i suspect it is the way people look at their families. this is your family. how could it be different? you do get new arrivals in both of those situations. it is a tremendous sense of loss. justice white used to say that when they -- when the court gets a new member it changes everything, changes everybody.
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remove the seeds around in the courtroom -- we move the seats around the court room and in the conference room. more fundamentally, it can cause you to take a fresh look at how things are decided. the new member is going to have a particular view about how issues should be taxed -- should be addressed. it may be very different from what we have been falling from -- have been falling for some time. it is a new court. >> if a juror had to be replaced in a jury case because one was ill or something, it was a different dynamic. it was a different jury. this will be a very different court. it is stressful for us because we so admire our colleagues. we wonder whether it will ever be the same. i have great admiration for the system.
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the system works. it gives us the opportunity to look at ourselves and be sure we are doing it the right way. we want the new justice to be able to take some instruction from our example if we are doing it the right way. a new justice asks the question. what are you doing this for? we have to think about whether we should continue to do it. >> we have heard often in our discussions that the junior justice has special privileges in the conference. can you explain that? >> i do not think the junior justice has special privileges, but the junior justice has to duties. the first and less onerous is to open the door. when we meet in conference, there are no staff members present. occasionally, someone will knock on the door. it is the job of the junior justice to get up and answer the door.
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usually it is a memo or something like that. the other duty is to keep the official vote of grants of cert or a decision to hold a case. when we have a conference, we go to a long list of cases. we will vote on whether we are going to take the case or deny it or do something else. it is the junior justice's responsibility to keep the official vote. >> what about the way justice is speak in conference? i understand it is seniority to the most junior. is that an advantage or disadvantage? >> i think it is a disadvantage. by the time he or she speaks, everybody has spoken and voted. when i was the junior, which has been up until now, by the time they got to me i was either irrelevant or i was very important in how the voting would come out. >> this week, in "america and
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the courts," a look at justice john paul season -- justice john paul stevens. 11:00 a.m. on c-span. >> president obama has promised to nominate a supreme court justice with "similar qualities" to john paul stevens, who announced his retirement. the president says he hopes to have the new justice installed before the court's next term. the president also commented on the coal mine explosion in west virginia that killed at least 25 workers. >> good afternoon, everybody. i want to say a few words about the tragedy that took place this week in west virginia. before i do, i would like to comment on the news that justice john paul stevens will retire from the supreme court at the
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end of his current term. when president ford was faced with a supreme court vacancy while the supreme -- while the nation was still recovering from the watergate scandal, he wanted up nominee who was pragmatic and committed to justice, integrity, and the rule of law. he found that nominee in that john paul stevens. justice stevens has courageously served his country from the moment he enlisted the day before pearl harbor to his long and distinguished tenure on the supreme court. during that tenure, he has stood as an impartial guardian of the law. he has worn the judicial robe with armor and humility. he has applied the constitution and the laws of the land with fidelity and restraint. he will soon turn 90 this month but he leaves at the top of his game. his leadership will be sorely missed. i just had an opportunity to
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speak with him and told him on behalf of a grateful nation that i thank him for his service. justice stevens expressed to me in the letter announcing his retirement that it is in the best interest of the supreme court to have a successor appointed and confirmed before the next term begins. i will move quickly to name a nominee, as i did with justice sotomayor. i view the process of suggesting a nominee as among the most serious responsibilities as president. while we cannot replace justice stevens's experience and wisdom, i will appoint someone with similar qualities -- an independent mind, a record of excellence and integrity, a dedication to the rule of law, and a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the american people. it will be someone who knows that in a democracy powerful interests must not be allowed to
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drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. much like they did with justice sotomayor, i hope the senate will move quickly in the coming weeks to debate and confirm a nominee said the justice is seated in time for the fall term. let me say a few words about what has happened in west virginia. this has been an unimaginable a difficult week for the people who live near montco al. two workers were saved. 25 were lost. for the four who remain missing, we are praying for a miracle. i want to offer my deepest condolences to the friends and families, the fathers, the husbands, the brothers, the networks, and the sons who were killed in this accident. courage and selflessness was
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shown by the rescue teams who have risked their lives over and over for the chance to save another. they have worked around the clock for the past few days and the nation owes them a debt of gratitude. mining has a long and proud history in west virginia. for many communities, it is not just a way to make a living. it is a way of life. the jobs they do in these mines help bring heat and electricity to millions of americans. it is a profession that is not without risks endangers. the workers and their families know that. but their government and their employers know that they owe it to these families to do everything possible to ensure their safety when they go to work each day. when i was in the senate, i supported the efforts of senators byrd and rockefeller to improve mine safety, but it is clear more needs to be done. i have asked my secretary of
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labor as well as the head of the mine safety administration to give me a preliminary report next week on what went wrong, if it went wrong, so we can take the steps to prevent such accidents in the future. because mining is a tradition that is often passed down to a generation, it is not uncommon to see an entire family choose this line of work. when a tragedy like this occurs, it is not uncommon to lose almost an entire family all at once. i spoke to some surviving members of one such family on wednesday. this week, tim davis and two of his nephews, josh and corey, were killed in the explosion at the upper bay branch mine. rescuers reported they were all found together. two other members of their family who worked in the mine were able to escape unharmed. before he left on monday, josh
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wrote a letter for his girlfriend and young daughter. he said "if anything happens to me, i will be looking down from heaven and you all. i love you. take care of my baby. tell her daddy loves her. she is beautiful. she is funny. just take care of my baby girl." reflecting on that letter and the losses she endured in one week, josh's mother, pam, said, "it is just west virginia. when something bad happens, we come together." through tragedy and heartache, and that is the spirit that has sustained this community and this country for over 200 years. as we pray for those who we have lost in the safe return of those who are missing, we are sustained by the words of the psalm.
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"you, oh lord, keep my lamp burning. my god turns my darkness into light." [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> coming up next, michigan congressman bart stupak announces he will not run for reelection. from the southern republican leadership conference, speeches by sara palin and louisiana governor bobby jindal. tomorrow, on "washington journal," amy howe discusses the retirement of justice stevens and who might replace him.
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ben smith looks at the role of the southern leadership conference. advice on preparing your taxes. the president of refugees international. that is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> what in the world is more ridiculous right now than american politics? >> for the past year, using clips from -- using clips from media outlets including c-span, "auto tune the news." >> democratic congressman bart stupak announces his retirement from the u.s. house of representatives. he recently told "the detroit free press" that the travel back
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and forth to his district was beginning to wear on him. he was a former state trooper first elected in 1982. he is known recently for working to include language in the health-care law banning the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions. we began with remarks from his wife. this is about 25 minutes. >> important>> bart and i met on a blind date approximately 37 years ago. i had just graduated from high school. he was a young police officer. we were married one year later. i knew from the start that bart was special. he was tall, dark, handsome, confident, kind, trustworthy, and brutally honest. i am glad to say that 37 years later, he is still the same guy i married, except maybe a little more gray. throughout our lives together, he has always been a loving and
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devoted husband and father, and a dedicated public servant. his word is his bond. he loves his job in congress. he loves the people he represents. he often tells his colleagues and friends in washington, d.c., that he represents the most beautiful congressional district in the united states. i agree. but it is also one of the largest, most diverse districts in the nation, covering 31 counties, bordering three of the five great lakes, bordering a foreign country, and encompassing two time zones. he carefully studies legislation, and he loves helping, advocating, and fighting for his constituents. he is not afraid to cast the tough vote. he stands up for what he believes in. he stays true to his convictions.
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he is a man of outstanding integrity, and he never backs away from a fight. he loves serving as chairman of the oversight investigation sub-committee. his background in law enforcement, the investigative skills, and dogged determination to make him a perfect for the job. the american people are better off because of this. as a right to life democrat, a somewhat rare breed in washington, but not as rare here in northern michigan, he sometimes encounter is pushed back from members of his own party. but he has always held firm with his belief in the sanctity of life, from conception to natural death. during the recent health care debate, our offices and homes or deluged with calls. many are in favor and many were against health care reform. unfortunately, some of those calls were vulgar, cruel,
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profane and threatening. we were saddened and disappointed by the cruelty and hypocrisy of some of the callers. over 95% of those calls came from outside of michigan. they were from people who did not know, or who had never met bart. he has always been pro-life, pro-gun, and pro health care. the people of northern michigan know that. he has never sought the limelight international fame. he just did the best job he could possibly do for his constituents, at the people of our great nation, and the people of northern michigan. public service has always been a family commitment. i served on the the city council for four years. our sons were involved in student leadership and other public-service organizations.
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we travelled to this district as a family. we shared each other's sorrows and joys. we have met some wonderful people along the way, and we thank them for their friendship and support. we are truly honored to have been given the opportunity to serve. now, please, let me introduce my husband, my congressman, your congressman, of whom i am very proud, bart stupak. [applause] >> i told them not to let her go last. she does a great job, and it is hard to follow her. thank you to all of my friends and supporters throughout the years who are here today.
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the people of northern michigan have provided me with the honor of representing them in congress for the past 18 years. i am truly grateful for their support. i have the distinct honor of serving four years -- serving as your congressman for longer than anyone else in the current times. . .
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before the last 18 years i have kept that promise. since the day i took office, i have fought to improve the quality of health care for the people of northern michigan, and throughout our great nation. despite many setbacks, i never gave up hope, and i never gave in. as a result, we made significant progress. here in northern michigan, we have 11 community-based clinics to provide veterans with the care they need and deserve. broadband accessed for northern michigan hospitals serves as a model for the country of how to improve the quality and efficiency of health care while lowering the cost in rural areas. we have provided updated diagnostic technology, leading to improved medical treatments and critical prevention services.
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last month, we finally accomplished what i set out to do 18 years ago. we passed comprehensive national health care reform. throughout the past year, i have worked alongside my colleagues to achieve health care reform, and i am proud to have helped bring it across the finish line. as a result of that work, today we are on a path to provide health insurance for 32 million more americans, including 38,000 people living here in northern michigan. today, because of these reforms, all american families, including 197 families here in northern michigan, will see their costs lowered, and received important consumer protections. they no longer have to live in fear of being one illness or one injury away from bankruptcy. today, children can no longer be denied care because of a pre- existing condition.
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no insurance carrier can rob you or your family of care, or cap your coverage, due to a serious injury or chronic illness. today, because of reform, syria -- seniors will be able to afford their per ascription of drugs -- their prescription drugs. today, small businesses will receive tax credit to make insurance of employees more affordable. after 18 years, together we have accomplished what you sent me to washington to do, health care for all americans. my friends and family know that during the last several election cycles, when it seemed like health care reform was impossible in washington, i considered retiring from congress. i wished to spend more time with my family and begin a new chapter in my career. but in each of the past several election cycles, i chose to continue serving the people of
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the first district because i felt that we still have work to do. into the sun for, after i voted against the -- in 2004, after i voted against the war in iraq, i worked alongside john kerry to bring the immoral war to an end. i became chairman of the oversight and investigations committee, the most fascinating sub-committee in all of congress. over the past four years, on our committee, we have launched investigations into high-profile issues such as a border security, nursing homes a free, security breaches at our nuclear weapons labs, food and drug safety, discriminatory practices in the health insurance industry, and the recent toyota sudden unintended acceleration problems. but two years ago, i saw of the
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opportunity to finally enact health care with the election of a new president. i thank president barack obama and speaker pelosi for finally making health care and reality in this country. while legislative accomplishments have been a significant part of my career, perhaps the thing i am most proud of over 18 years is helping you, my friend, my neighbors, and my constituents. my staff and i have helped tens of thousands of constituents resolve problems and cut through the red tape, problems such as helping secure benefits through the band -- through the veterans or social security administration, or helping with a tax problem at the irs, or securing the middle of a service member who badly served our country. we help people obtain passports, secure local mail delivery service, and obtained funds to
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weatherize their homes to save money. these may seem like little things, but to me and my staff, there are some of the most important things we do. i want to thank the members of my staff, past and present, both here in northern michigan and in washington, d.c. i especially want to thank those who have been with me since the beginning, my chief of staff, my district director, suit mccarthy, and others. i thank them for their dedication, loyalty, and hard work. i have spent more than 30 years in public service as a police officer, a police trooper, a state representative, and now a u.s. congressman. my service to the people of michigan has been one of the greatest honors of my life. but it is time to begin a new and exciting chapter. last night and early this
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morning, i informed democratic leaders and key supporters of that i would not seek reelection to the congress. i will always serve the people of the first district, but i have chosen not to continue to serve as their congressman. i am committed to helping the democrats retain this seat, as i believe we must continue to fight for working families and small businesses, for economic and national security, for our great lakes and quality of life. i am announcing my intention here today, the potential candidate will have ample opportunity to organize a campaign and collect the necessary signatures before the may filing deadline. i want to thank the people of northern michigan for putting their faith in me. for 18 years i have travelled this the district, from day to day, and all of the points in between. i have shared your concerns and disappointment.
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i have enjoyed almost every minute. i fought for you and your families each and every day. but now it is time to spend a little more time with my wife, to whom i have been married for 36 years, and whose love has sustained me through the years, and to my son, and his family, and my extended family and friends. thank you. thank you all for being here today. thank you very much. [applause] >> dana. >> what was the final moment that you said, "i'm done" ? >> that really came within the last 36 hours. i wanted to leave a couple of times, but i always thought, there is one more job to be done. health care was a major issue. some of my friends will remember
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a pamphlet from my first election that said, "health care reform right now. i believe every help -- i believe every american has a right to health care. " we did it. my main goal was accomplished. i have spent 30 years in public service. i am now at a crossroads where i can do other things. i look forward to those new challenges. it was not one thing. it was a combination of things. you can imagine, when i come home, my biggest regret now, maybe it was exciting years ago, but now i see my wife for maybe 12 hours and then i jump in a car and i am gone. it just came to a point where i said, i have accomplished what i wanted to do. i there i run again and i will be here forever, or i make a break. it is time for me to make a
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break. it is time for me to move on. >> was there a conversation you had with laurie when you said that you had made your decision? >> yes. we spent this last weekend at the n.c.a.a. final four. my son was friends with the general manager of the basketball team that won the championship. my family had a lot of windshield time, 144 mi. to be exact. we had a lot of time to talk. we do it every year. we compared notes. what do you think? should we go again? is it time to step aside?
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my dad told me it was time to step aside. you have put your time in. you have been here longer than all of these guys. do something else. after the disappointment in indianapolis, it took me awhile to get over it, made the final decision. >> [inaudible] >> really, wednesday night, i said, this is it, let go. we have been struggling with this for years. >> you have been under extraordinary pressure these past few weeks because of your vote on health care. can you talk a little bit about that and how it may have affected his decision -- and this decision? >> in 1993 when we did president clinton's deficit reduction
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package it passed by one vote. al gore had to break the tie in the senate. we had the impeachment vote. we had -- i know i have taken on the national rifle association, and i was not a real popular when i did that. i voted against the war in iraq which was not popular with a lot of print media in my district. you get all this outside noise. as laurie said, these 3:00 a.m. phone calls threatening us, things like this, that was people outside the district. that's not my district. if you look at my elections, a win by huge margins. i know these people. you sort of just ignore it and move on. it did not really play a big part. this was a decision we made about what was best for us.
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i am at the crossroads. i want to do new things, new challenges, new opportunities. >> republicans are very happy with your announcement, and are only too happy to take credit for it. >> everyone is going to take credit. i wish they would take credit when i do not do things exactly right. everyone wants to take credit for this and that. if i get a challenge, i am going to be there. many times, i am the last person standing. i do not run away from a battle or a fight. but for me, as much as i love the people of this district, getting back to and around it has become a chore. when i get home on a thursday night -- do you know how long it takes me to get here? eight hours. i have an eight hour commute, so i get home at 1:00 a.m. or 2:00
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a.m., and i have to get up at 6:00 a.m. and hit the road again. i finally said, is the benefit there? is it the pleasure there? the traveling has a really run me down. republicans can take credit for it, but they are wrong. i am not looking for a fight. that is not who i am. i am comfortable. i am at peace with the decision i have made. it is the right decision for us. they know they are wrong, i do not have to tell them that. >> [inaudible] >> no, i still have eight more months in my term. i plan on the finishing up my term. there is legislation i would like to get it done. we do not want to worry about our sheriffs and others who would like to run for office being disqualified because they have received as a federal
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grant. i want to protect the great lakes. i want to finish up my 8 month and see what happens after that. >> you talk about future opportunities. do you know what you will do? olympic boxer, baseball player? >> all of the above. no, i have no plans. we will see what happens. maybe i will sit on my desk and look at lake michigan and what the sailboats go by. our olympic coach is nodding his head. he knows exactly how that is. >> there is going to be a lot of concern that this district will go to a republican. do you feel you are handing
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deceit over to them? >> no, i feel i am emboldening the democrats. we have a large majority in the house, a large majority in the the senate, and a democratic president. i have seen the republican field, and i am not impressed. it is one of the weakest feel i had seen in some time. there are many democrats who could hold my seat. unfortunately in michigan, we have term limits. the voters should determine the length of a term, not some arbitrary law. we have good state democrats who are in their second or third term, and they could hold this seat. i am excited about the democrats' prospects. i think they can do well. i think we have shown this district that democrats should get more than a second look. they can hold this seat and provide greater representation in washington, d.c., for the
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first congressional district. there are all kinds of people who could do it. one more question, and then i have to go. i just want to say, there are some frontier, and we did not try to build a crowd or anything. i just want to say, thank you for coming out. it has been an honor to serve you. on days when you think the drug is extra hard, you look at the people you represent -- you think the drive is extra hard, you look at the people you represent, and how much you mean to us, and i just want to thank you for being here today. thank you. [applause]
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>> up next, from the southern louisiana -- from the southern republican leadership conference in new orleans, sarah palin, bobby jindal, and governor rick perry of texas. tomorrow we continue our coverage of the southern republican leadership conference from new orleans. speakers include rick santorum, congressman ron paul, and rnc cheered rncrnc chair michael steele. >> this weekend, and pr foreign correspondent deborah amos on what happened to the suny people after the fall of saddam hussein -- after -- what happened to the
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sunnis after the fall of up saddam hussein. find the entire weekend schedule entirebooktv.org. >> of the southern republican leadership conference continues in new orleans. up next, we will hear from former alaskan governor sarah palin, louisiana governor bobby jindal, and texas governor rick perry. >> thank you very much. thank you, friends. thank you. thank you so much. it is so good to be here in at the big easy. thank you so much. please have a seat. i am so honored to get to be
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here in this nice crowd of friends. i am enjoying getting to know the people of new orleans. the last time i was here was for an oil and gas conference. now, being here, hearing the inspiring stories of people who have rebuilt and restored after katrina is very inspiring. i want to take a moment to thank this amazing city, and especially the people who are working here, serving a guest with public safety, making us feel so at home. thank you, new orleans. i knew i should not say you betcha after that. go to saints. good, patriotic people here. do you love your freedom?
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[applause] if you love your freedom, then think of that. i know we are going to do that. if you are serving in uniform today, raise your hand. we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. thank you for your service. [applause] yes, the last time i was here, oil and gas conference, and now we are here on april 9th, america's tax freedom day. there was a piece earlier this week that explained that americans now spend about 100 days per year working for the government before we start earning our own money that we get to spend. that does not sound right to me. that sounds like we are working for government instead of government working for us. it is time to reverse that.
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it seems like we are really learning what the president's slogan mend. when you turn the "yes we can" into a sentence, you get yes we can spend the wealth around. yes, we can reform programs we can pay for and stick the next generation with the bill. yes, we can put our country back on a track that is not a good track, because it is going to quadruple our national debt. yes, we can fill one sixth of the private economy with unfunded mandates. these are just a few of the domestic accomplishments. in foreign policy, we have the makings of the obama doctrine, which is cobbling enemies and aiding allies.
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they will not bring up human rights with china because "they already know what they are going to say." they offered tepid sanctions on north korea and gold stars and cookies to the sudanese president. they can barely muster a word of support to those in iran seeking freedom, and women seeking right. now, at the president, with all of the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer -- [applause] and as a part time at center, and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, we see what he has accomplished to date with north korea and iran.
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meanwhile, this administration alienates our friends. they treated, it -- they treated hamid karzai poorly and were upset when he responded in kind. they have created a major breach with israel, our closest ally in the the middle east. let's remind the president, jerusalem is not a supplement, and israel is our friend. -- jerusalem is not a settlement, and israel is our friend. north korea and iran want nukes. yes we can alienate allies and coddle our enemies. someone needs to tell our president that it just because we can and does not mean we should. [applause]
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so, now they are revising that slogan for 2010. they have done a $two trillion health-care takeover. they are proclaiming loudly "yes we did." i would not be so proud to slap that on a bumper sticker, not just yet. i think conservatives can come up with programs people will like better than that like "repealed and replaced." and, how is that hopey changey thing working out for you now? and my favorite, do not retreat, reload, and that is not a call for violence. [applause]
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[applause] that, of course, means take an opportunity to engage in that debate. it is not a call for violence. no one is calling for such a thing, and the media is so desperate to discredit the tea party movement that they will make that up, but no one is calling for the obama -- no one is calling for violence. the obama policy will leave us more under the thumb of big government. it is out of touch, out of date, and they are running out of time. [applause] americans across this great country are standing up and speaking out for common sense
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conservative solutions. they are telling washington, back off. some of us registered republicans are what we used to call reagan democrats. some, like my friends and family, including my own husband, our independence, lovers of this great country, proud, but concerned about the path we are now on. all of them are deeply concerned about our country, and frankly, some of them are a little bit skeptical, concerned about our party, about our own at the gop. for years, for americans to believe in conservative principles, the growth of government was disconcerting. as governor of alaska, i vetoed some of obama's stimulus funds.
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might veto of the those funds was overridden by a republican- led legislature. people did not want to believe that this free money would not magically work out. in at the word of the bill clinton "this is the biggest retail i have ever seen." of course, that was before obama was elected, so we do not know the context, but i will take it into context that i want it. [applause] today the grand old party needs to have its eyes wide open. we are getting back to our grand old routes -- grand old roots,
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and there is no shame in being the party of no if their ideas violate our values, and our constitution. what is wrong with being the party of no? or, better is said by the governor of this state, we are the party of hell no. going forward, we have to keep supporting both republicans and -- both republicans in congress who are leading the loyal opposition, putting the liberals on notice. government overreach did not begin with the obama administration, but it will end with the obama and ministration. [applause] because friends, truly the party of lincoln and reagan is back. we have our eyes wide open going into these midterm elections. we are the party of ideas, and
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with particulate alternatives, we will prove a better way for america. in that spirit, let me hit on something that has been making headlines lately. i know it well. it is important to all of us. it is energy policy. this is not just about heating our homes and keating's -- and keeping the lights on. there is an inherent link between energy and security, energy and prosperity. energy and freedom. we need affordable domestic, reliable, energy policy. there is such a big difference between how the republicans and the democrats want to accomplish that goal. the left has waged a war on natural resources. they have levied a new fees on
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domestic production because they think we are over-producing oil and gas. liberals want to stop hydraulic fracturing to produce cleaner- burning gas. they are locking up more federal land that is building with god- given reserves of oil, gas and uranium. even if you were lucky enough to finally drill into mine, good luck. if you want to build a federal -- if you want to build a pipeline, it can take years to get a federal permit. the left's plan is devastating, but simple. at least they are honest about this one. they want you to pay more so that you will consume less. the call it capped and trade. i call it capped and tax. whatever you call it, it is
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going to kill jobs, production, productivity, and the work ethic in america that we have grown to love. it will pass a greater burden on to ever next generation, our small businesses and, and our working people. phil left thought you would think it was a bad idea -- the left thought you would think it was a bad idea, so they want to skip the legislative process. let the epa do the dirty work. like so much of their agenda, they have decided what is best for us. even if we do not like it, can afford it, and it makes so -- it makes no sense, they will do it anyway, because yes we can. if you are not on the white house e-mail list, this may come
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as a surprise, all this energy stuff. the president can give us some pretty nice speeches, and he makes it sound like he is going to enact energy policies that americans can support, but when you really tune in, he stands by while the administration and the democrats in congress eliminate things one by one. it is smoke and mirrors. he talks about supporting nuclear power, but where was he when his interior secretary it withdrew 1 million a. from uranium production in arizona? we did not expect the administration to back them up on that for purely political reasons, not safety, not ideological, not environmental reasons, but political reasons.
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you cannot have it both ways. you cannot cut our options at both ends of the fuel cycle. [applause] likewise, the left may tell you that they are for renewable resources like wind, solar, hydro, and that is just great, but god forbid you try to put a windmill in nantucket sound. somebody may see it. i get so may bump into one. oh, my! [laughter] we saw this a bait and switch with offshore drilling. the president gave a big speech at andrews air force base. the only thing missing from that ceremony was the soundtrack from top gun and joe biden in a flight suit.
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that is next. [laughter] cent of that event, the spinners have been spinning that one as a huge victory for energy security. anything sounds good when you sit in front of a fighter jet, but stop and think about what happened the next day. after hearing a good pro- development gop plan, the president barack obama administration halted development, delayed until 2012. that will give environmentalists more time to sue, environmentalist so concerned about the world's environment that they would rather see less irresponsible countries develop resources and then have us use ours. this gives them more time to sue.
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meanwhile, the northeast atlantic coast is closed. drilling in alaska is cancelled. drilling along the pacific coast, with cleaner-burning gas waiting to be tapped, now that is prohibited. now we need mortis study. -- more study. these areas have been studied to death. the interior department has done more than 50 studies, but decided the government needs more. as a governor, and as oil and gas commissioner, and as chair of the nation's interstate oil and gas commission, i have seen many, many studies. let us send the white house of the message that we can save time and money and announced,
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there is an oil and gas down there and we can get it safely and responsibly. we do not need more studies. we need more action. [applause] because energy produced in america is security for america. it is jobs for american workers, jobs and that cannot be outsourced. let's drill baby, drill, not stall, baby stall. [applause] i had to throw that one in their one last time for you guys. [applause] kicking its old school.
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[applause] also, folks, think about what the administration did. they banned more offshore drilling and then they allowed. the epa has put us on a path toward sweeping regulation of greenhouse gases, our farms, our factories, our businesses and our vehicles. in other words, they will destroy jobs and impose a new national tax on all of us. that does not sound like a good policy to me. it sounds like the president is trying to pay [no audio] for his
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tax scheme coming up. i hope someone will tell him he is not going to find bipartisan ship down there. once you wade through all the hype and the clouds have parted and the season have calmed. , it is clear that the administration is giving us more of the status quo. remember, reagan said that status quo is latin for "the mess we are in." we cannot wait for the next presidential election to get it right. we have to do it now. our country needs the jobs and the security. we rely on these domestic sources that production here will provide now. republicans need to hit the road in 2010 and show americans what a real all of the above energy policy looks like. we need a plan that puts all of the options on the table, because of relying on foreign
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regimes for our energy needs makes us less secure. it makes us beholden to these countries, and it costs us hundreds of billions of dollars. we have to say no when it comes to something this important. we need to give it all we've got. that means, drill year, drill now. the ops must be open for development, with revenue sharing for the state. on shore, it is time to stop ignoring the obvious options that we have. that includes anwar and my home state. i love the way and coulter put it. she explained that our caribou are doing fine. they are breeding and migrating. and coulter said,"mr. caribou,
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you may have to take one for the team.' no matter where the drill bit hit, we have to streamline the permitting process to cut through the red tape and the dozens and dozens of permits and licenses that are needed to tap into our natural resources. as we produce more here at home, yes, we must waste less. we must use our energy more efficiently. we can encourage people to do that through tax incentives and by setting standards with companies. with renewable, let us encourage innovation. washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in anything, but they should not be picking winners and losers in this energy debate. we should allow technologies and
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feedstocks to be competing against these others, instead of competing for washington's affection. they need flexibility. they need to see what works best. shoot, a look at texas. i said issued. i am sorry. -- i said, "shhot." oot." i am sorry. [laughter] that state is already home to the largest wind farm. they are doing it right in the texas. let's not use this as a snake oil science stuff that is based on a global warming, that came
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down -- there was a revelation that some of these scientists were playing political games. a governor who said it was bogus and nearly got run out of town and by environmentalists, but now we feel a little bit vindicated. we have found out there was some snake oil science involved. the great innovation that will replace conventional resources is not here yet, but it will be someday. until that day, we need our domestic resources to meet our needs. that alternative will be discovered. it will be here, and it will be americans who find it. [applause] we invented the modern oil well. we invented the telephone. we invented the airplane and the personal computer. we put a man on the moon. we invented the internet, unless
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that was al gore too. faugh but it was american continuity that -- but it was american continuity -- ingenuity that made this country great. we have the resources, now all we need is the political will. in other words, there is nothing stopping us from achieving energy independence and that a good old fashioned alexian can fix. -- a good old-fashioned election cannot fix. [applause] and the election is only seven months away. [applause]
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the time to articulate the alternatives, it is now. from now until november, when they say, "yes we can at," we stand up and say, "o no you don't." when they try to restrict freedoms, we will prove that common sense conservatives have a better way. this is a the party of reagan and lincoln. [applause] this is the party that put an end to slavery. this is the party that declared that it is morning in america again. this is the party that led us to victory in the cold war with the firm directives, "we win, you lose." this is the party, knowing that america's finest men and women in uniform are doing good
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throughout the world, and this is nothing to apologize for. freedom is a god-given right and it is worth fighting for. [applause] this is the party that stands for competition and equality and responsibility and respect for life and liberty. and this is the party that will usher in a new era of prosperity, new opportunities for all. this is our party, and we are writing a new chapter in this proud history. it starts with us, and it can start today. i say we stand together and take our country back. thank you and so much, france, for being part of the solution. -- thank you so much, and friends, for being part of the solution. god bless you, and god bless
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america. [applause] [applause] >> also speaking at the southern republican leadership conference was louisiana governor bobby jindal. this is about 25 minutes. >> well, i will not say another
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word. [applause] thank you very much. thank you for that very warm reception. thank you very much. thank you. conrad, i want to thank you for that generous introduction. he is a great new senator. i want to welcome our guests from all over this great country, the great city of new orleans, and the great state of louisiana, home to the world champion new orleans saints. we invite you to extend your stay. enjoy it is a beautiful weather. enjoy our great food, our great music, our great culture. if you would spend your money in our hotels and restaurants we would appreciate it. stay away from a bourbon street, just a word of advice.
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i want to spend my time speaking candidly about this situation our country finds itself in. here is the good news. i want to make a very important announcement today. as far as my family is concerned, let me be clear. i am not running for president of the united states of america. i have the job i am happy to report that louisiana is doing better than ever. since i am not running for president, i can speak clearly without fear of whether i can -- but whether i will offend you or not. all i have to do for the people of louisiana is be the best governor that i can be. people who know me know that i like less -- i liked lists.
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i made a top-10 list, but since we are cutting everything because of budget cuts, it is a top eight list. the first thing i want to show you is that bill clinton was wrong. you are probably surprised about that. he said the era of big government is over. but it is not over, it is upon us. we are suffering through our worst economic recession since the great depression, and in the face of this crisis, president barack obama, nancy pelosi, and harry reid are making the problems far, far worse. let's be honest. president barack obama ran a great campaign. he had soaring resident -- soaring rhetoric. within that campaign they spoke relentlessly about a movement
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from the bottom up. it sounded great and people bought it. yet, here we are, just over a year into it, and boy are we paying the bill for it now. it turns out the changes they had in mind was the largest expansion of the old, a top down, big government, that any of us have ever witnessed. we need to bring fruit to bill clinton's words. we need to end the era of big government. [applause] the second thought i want to share with you, power brings -- power breeds arrogance. from time to time, you may have a notion that makes sense to you, but that people don't agree with. i have had that happen myself. ; when that happens, you try to
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persuade the people, but if you fail to persuade them, you accept the word -- except the will of the people. that is 61 a one. -- civics 101. it seems to meet this group in washington may have failed civics. they thought their health-care overhaul was a good idea. they know they have failed, and they do not care. they did it anyway. that is the arrogance of power. it is not leadership, it is arrogance. they told the voters, we know better than you. use small people do not recognize the genius of our health care plan. you do not matter. we are going to do it anyway, and there is nothing you can do about it. we may not be able to take away their arrogance, but in
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november, we can take away their power. [applause] yoon no, the president is not up for -- you know, the president is not up for reelection this fall. speaker pelosi is from santa francisco. -- from san francisco. she might get votes for is bankrupting america. there is a debate going on. i have heard this debate in these very rooms to repeal or not to repeal. one of the things that got our party in the trouble was the failure to stand on principle. [applause]
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railing against the growth of government while you are in fact growing government was not such a good idea. it turned out the american people are not much for hypocrisy. let us be honest. the american people said to the republican majority -- they basically fired them. the republican majority got fired, and they got fired with cause. they had done an amount of spending that never would have been accepted if it was proposed by the democrats. to repeal or not to repeal? we have done everything we can to try to stop this experiment with our nation's health-care system. now, they have passed it. but if there are some in our party who do not want to repeal this experiment with our nation
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pose a health. we spent a year working and rallying against this bill, and now some are actually asking if we should try to repeal it. only in washington would this be a hard question. it is pretty simple to me. let your yes b yes, let your note the know. -- let your yes be yes, let your no be no. [applause] this health care experiment was a bad idea the day they cram it down our throats. it was just as bad an idea of the day after the cramped it down our throats. timidity is not leadership. we cannot give up. we cannot give in. we have to stand on principle. we must repeal of this bill. [applause]
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that brings me to the fourth thought i want to share with you. i want to talk about being called the "party of no." some of us do not like the way that sounds. it hurt our feelings because of course, we do have ideas. let's be honest. elections have consequences. we control approximately nothing in washington right now. our ideas are not going to get a fair hearing unless we make gains in november. in the meantime, we have a duty to stand up for what we believe in and fight with everything we have. newt gingrich said yesterday that republicans need to become the party of yes. he is right. when it comes to real conservative principles, we have to be the party of yes. we have offered many ideas for health-care reform that would bring down costs without bankrupting our country. for the most part, those ideas have been pushed aside by the
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democratic majority. let's be clear. a bad idea is a bad idea. shame on us if we are afraid to say so. when it comes to this experiment with our nation's health care, i agree, we should not be the party of no. we should be the party of hell know when it comes to health care. -- we should be the party of "hell no" when it comes to health care. [applause] the best idea i want to share with you is that the debt in -- the debt we have accumulated as a nation is immoral. that is an inconvenient truth if ever there was one. sometimes you have to borrow money to shape your dreams or make your way into this world. but is there an -- but there is
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a difference between a government borrowing more than it can repay. and and a person borrowing to try to shape their dreams. we must not become the first generation of americans that leave to our children and fewer opportunities havana we inherited from our parents. -- than we inherited from our parents. it is time to cut up our credit cards and stop this debt. the sixth idea i wanted to share with you today is about spending. a famous person from louisiana coined the phrase, "it is the economy stupid."
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i know you heard from his better half yesterday. well today, it is the spending. politicians talk about slowing the rate of growth of government. they talk about freezing the government. that is not enough. that will not work. to make america prosperous again, we need leaders with courage to cut government. [applause] in louisiana, we have submitted a budget to the legislature that is $5 billion less than it was last year. i know this will give my opponent an opportunity to attack me. the reality is, we only had three options. the first was, we could just print money like they do in washington. it turns out that is not legal. we cannot do that at the state
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level. we were not going to do that anyway. the second option, there is always the option to raise taxes. but let me be clear about one thing. if you remember nothing else from what i say today, as long as i am the governor of louisiana, we will not raise taxes in louisiana. [applause] and if you come from a state that is considering raising taxes right now, i hope you hear this message and consider moving to louisiana. we would love to have you. so what is our plan? we thought of the novel idea of forcing the government to cut back. just like families do, this is the way to go. have you ever noticed that government want you to adjust your lives while it continues to grow? no country has ever taxed,
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spend, or barred its way into prosperity. we will not be the -- or borrowed its way into prosperity. we will not be the first to disprove that. we have got to stop the spending. . . we have a crowd in washington that ignored the second amendment. i do not think they have even read the 10th amendment up here we did up there. they have no problem trampling on individual and states' rights and they are not going to stop with health care. even the governor schwarzenegger has spoken out and said the ramifications of this bill are completely unsustainable for his state or any state. it was a clever way of shifting the burden. they want the state to do with it. many state will deal with it on
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-- by raising taxes on their citizens. move here. we have great food, whether -- weather. it is about 70 degrees year- round in louisiana. my final thought is that the growth -- the entitlement spending threatens to kill the american dream. medicare is in the near state medicare is in the near state of -- i of near bankruptcy. washington passes a brand new $2 trillion spending bill. what we have well over time more for itself into a new federal entitlement program. do not worry. nance is below sea -- nancy pelosi assures us that the bill will save us money. if anybody here believes that, please raise your hand. we have a couple of louisiana
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and bridges that i would like to sell you. this growth in spending will lead to more taxes, less liberty. it is another step toward a european style of government. we have to stop this. [applause] i would like to finish up by giving a small taste of what we're doing in louisiana. every state, every government across this entire country is facing challenges. every government has a fundamental choice to make. do we make the hard choices, the hard decisions within government or do we transfer the burden into the working families, the businesses in our states and in our great country? we have made the decision here in louisiana. we're not going to transfer this burden. instead, we will make the tough choices within government. [applause]
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make no mistake, that is the fundamental challenge that everyone of us faces. we proposed a balanced budget current 18% smaller than last year. we will have 6000 fewer government funded positions. we have set prioritize. we have consolidated functions and agencies. we're finding the things that need to move our state forward. there'll be some that would argue that there is another way. that we do not have to make these hard choices. there is an example of how you avoid making these hard choices. it is called the washington way. they continue to print money, borrow money from china. the national debt will exceed $14 trillion. by the end of this decade, $26 trillion. what does that mean for us? that is $45,000 for every person
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in this room by the end of this year. it will almost double to $26 billion. we cannot keep printing money and borrowing money from china. we know what will happen. we will see interest rates go up. we will see inflationary rates up. we will see the value of our dollar go down. this is not a sustainable path. here, we're doing everything we can to adopt a different way. we're not going down the washington way. we're also fighting for people's rights, despite what they do washington bridge we have filed -- what they do in washington. we are supporting legislation to search our peoples and our states 10th amendment right to object to this federal health care bill that has just been passed. [applause]
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let's not doubt what is at stake. for the first time, our federal government -- that has never been done before. the 10th amendment -- the commerce clause is not going to be allowed to be construed to allow the federal government to do whatever it wants, we must challenge this legislation. we're not stopping there. we're supporting legislation to make sure that louisiana's tax dollars are not used to subsidize elective abortions. [applause] we must take a stand for
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innocent human life. we must respect the several decades -- it is not right to take taxpayers' dollars to subsidize abortions that they disagree with. we will continue to work -- we will continue to go forward in our state with a conservative solutions. our state is recovering from hurricanes. we did go from -- women from being 44 the worst -- we went from being 44 worst to being best in the country. [applause] we have sent who you know must not be more important than what you know when it comes to being -- doing business in our state. i have sent dozens of bills.
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we signed the largest income tax cut in our state history in our first two years of office. [applause] we revamped our workforce training programs, offering a guarantee. our students will be ready to work on the first day or community technical colleges will train them for free. what has been the results? louisiana was the third best state in the country for creating jobs last year. [applause] portfolio.com said we had the second best economic performance during the recession. our unemployment rate has been lower than the southern and national average every single month of this recession.
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i could give you a long list of numbers and statistics. they just upgraded our credit ratings. here is the number that means the most to me. after two decades, after 20 years of our people leaving the state, we have now had three years in a row of more people moving into louisiana rather than leaving willies -- rather than leaving louisiana. [applause] that means our children, our grandchildren are returning home. others are coming home as well, realizing their opportunities to pursue the american dream. the reason this is happening is that we have started with the recognition that government does not create wealth or jobs. it is our job to give our people a new louisiana.
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if conservative ideas can work here at home in louisiana, i know they can work in every state across this great country. [applause] we have great challenges, but we have great opportunities. i know there are skeptics out there. to the skeptics, i would say this, just look at what our own at new orleans saints have done. [applause] after 43 long years, we had never even been to a super bowl. most of those years, we did not even go to the playoffs. despite the skeptics, despite the odds, the st. show that through hard work, perseverance, timor, they could come back and make it to the super bowl and win the super bowl to become world champions.
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if they can do that, louisiana can continue to help lead the country in economic development. we can come -- we can become number one in education and in quality of life and health care. if we can do that in louisiana, every state can adopt these kinds of conservative solutions. we live in the greatest country in the history of the world. [applause] if i -- i want to thank you for coming to this conference. i want to thank you for your support. i wanted thank you for your enthusiasm, your time, your hours of effort to make sure that this november, which puts our country back on the right track so that we continue to be the greatest country in the history of the world so that we leave even more opportunities for children and grandchildren
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they got continue to bless each and every one of you. maine continue to bless the greatest country in the history of the world. -- may he continue to bless the greatest country in the history of the world. thank you very much. [applause] here, you are going to be having great here, you quick's the governor of texas also spoke at the southern
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republican leadership conference in orleans. this is about 20 minutes. e was a certain republican governor who was being sworn in for the first time in louisiana. it was good to be here. it he is a guy with a bigger vision for a remarkable state. we're all celebrating the impact that bobby has had on louisiana. i am not giving him credit for the super bowl victory. i am sorry, bobbie. i cannot just give it all to you. when you think about it, it is hard to believe that it has been five years since our states experienced a 1-2 punch of hurricanes katrina and rita. i remember that telephone call very vividly. knowing that the people of
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louisiana were being displaced. she called up and said, would you agree to take some people from louisiana? about 25,000 people from louisiana that we have got to move out of harm's way. the fact of the matter is, we're all human. the bible tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. i told her, bring them on. bring them on to the state of texas. [applause] my goodness, did they come. the evacuator by plane, by car, by bus. i'm sure that some of them hitchhiked into the state of texas. what they found there was a state with open arms, a state that by the grace of god, it could have been on us. it could have been the governor of texas calling the governor of
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louisiana say, can you help us? that is what makes this country great. having men and women like that. all those folks came over and many of them went back to louisiana. it is amazing how many people who came over and saw how things are in the great state of texas. you are fixing to get a state of commerce -- a chamber of commerce speech about how great texas is. to get ready because here it comes. i want to talk about why that is important from the standpoint of having people like bobby in office. an individual who really understands the importance of competition between states, why it is important that on your eastern border, where you have a great governor who is putting in some powerful changes in that
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state over there. we love to compete against each other. i want to give back to bobbie. i truly admire him. he is one of these leaders who proves that a great things can happen when you cut problems down to size and then you address them with common-sense. you devise solutions that are based on the essential conservative concepts. you refuse to compromise on them. that is the type of leadership that we look for across this country in the republican party. this state is showing that type of principled conservative leadership. i think one of the roles of the governor, and one of the roles of people who are engaged in this business of governing, we remind folks on a regular basis that the role of government,
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what the government's role is is as servant, not as master. it is as protector, not as provider. as the citizens of our country work to feed their families and pay their mortgages and set aside something for the future, they are being told today that big daddy government has all the answers. that is what we are hearing from a washington d.c. that is absolutely out of control. they are saying, do not worry your pretty little head about it. we will take care of all your needs. you just sit back and let us take care of it. washington is telling us, we will let you know what medical procedures you can have, how much of your earnings we're going to take to pay for it and we will tell you how to educate your children. that is what we are hearing out of washington d.c. today. there is this endless struggle going on. he gave you a great example of
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its. between the left and right. the conservatives and liberals, between socialism and democracy. that is what is going on in this country today. i will tell you, this country is definitely tilted in the wrong direction and we need to be staying focused on what really matters. [applause] i want to make sure i have this out. type in the words "fired up" and text into nine once -- 95613. we will keep you into earned in how you can continue to fight what is going on in washington d.c. americans need to -- here is what has happened. let me put this into some perspective. america is finally -- is
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starting to emerge from a fog that it found itself in. i was a pilot in the united states air force in the early 1970's. one of the great and beautiful things was flying out of that fog and falling those instruments and saying that runway show up just like it was supposed to. that was a very comforting feeling. america has been flying in a fog for two long. listen, -- too long. republicans got frustrated. they got frustrated because we elected men and women who said, elect us and we will go to washington d.c. we ended up not being able to tell the differences between them being a republican or if there were a democrat. that is what happened to the republican party. [applause]
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we should not be -- we should not sugarcoat it. we need to identify men and women today who really understand what the republican party is all about. now tell people -- i tell people, governing is pretty simple. i think. there are some people in washington d.c. that they think they need to do a whole bunch more than what i think they need to be doing. a republican needs to be about having a strong military. let me tell you, one thing about it, we got that right. we have the finest young men and women defending our freedom around the world than we have ever had. my father was part of that group that they called the great generation. we have young men and women that
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are every bit as sacrificial, every bit as good every bit as selfless as those who came back in the 1930's and 1940's. secure our borders and deliver the mail on time. [laughter] that is it. those three things. one out of three is all we're getting right now. that is for sure. until you can get those three things right, how about leaving everything else alone? [applause] i want to get back and talk about texas. the reason i want to do that is because i think there is a great story to tell here. as you look across this country today and part of my job is to
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make other governors uncomfortable. think about it. i believe in the 10th amendment with all my heart. it is a powerful part of the constitution. what it says is that the federal government was created to be an agent for the states, not the other way around. the 10th amendment says we ought to compete against each other. those principles, those conservative republican principles that have been put in place in the state of texas have created a powerful economy there. i think it goes without saying that in the state of texas, we are at the epicenter. we are at the apex of the states when it comes to the economy. when you look at what we have created their -- there -- i get
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it. i did it about the principles of governing. you do not have to be a ph.d. from harvard in political science to understand the principles of governing. number one, do not spend all the money. have a tax and regulatory policy that are fair and predictable. have a legal system that does not allow for over suing and then have accountable public school system. it says to the job creators that this is a place that has a skilled workforce. those are the four things. heavy tax structure that is fair. a legal system that does not allow for over suing and an accountable public school system. then get out of the way, government and led the private sector do with the private sector does best. create jobs.
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to create wealth. that is how you do it. [applause] in 2003, we had a $10 billion shortfall in the state of texas. the first time since reconstruction -- that goes back to the 1870's. we had in texas for the first time all republican leadership. we had a major issue with the resources coming in the did not meet the previous budgets level. we had to make hard decisions. they were calling for state income tax in some of the major media markets. twe said, we really believe that
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ronald reagan knew what he was talking about. we believe that ronald reagan and his economics worked. if you'll cut the spending, the job critters will flourish. that is exactly what we did. . . >> there are more jobs created in the state of texas and the last decade than any other state in the country. we are the number-one exporting state for the eighth year in a row. they can and day out until some governor and some of the state understands that you have to put those principles into place and
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you could knock texas off of that perch. [applause] i go to california on a regular basis. i can promise you that the governor of california is tired of seeing my face in california. he knows that i am coming out there to recruit businesses to bring back to texas. i want that type of competition all across this country. i will suggest to you that governors that have that type of principle, those are simple principles and they are. that is economics 1 01. there is a hard part about that. the hard part about that is funding men and women who have the courage to implement those principles. that is what we have been
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blessed about. state of texas. today, we have men and women who understand and we have proven that, if you will have the courage to implement those principles, your state will flourish, your street can -- or state can grow. i don't stand up and tell people that we do not have challenges. you cannot have the type of economy that we have, this international scope, and not be affected by this economic crisis. it is an all-consuming thing. you bet we have been impacted. but if there is a place in the country that will help lead america out of this recession, it is texas. it is those principles that we put in place. i challenge governors all across this country. if you believe in this country, if you believe in the principles of the free market and
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capitalism, put those principles in place and help lead america back to the principles of promise that we made to the people. [applause] we can be preeminent in the world again. but it is going to take principles, leadership -- is going to take men and women going to washington, d.c. and saying no. i hope there are a host of men and women who will stand up and run for office in 2010. those are incredibly important elections. one of the things they say is, "elect me and i will go to washington, d.c. and make it as inconsequential in your life as i can make it." [applause] i am thinking that maybe a good thing. it takes principal leadership -- it takes principled leadership. don't tell me you are a
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republican and then go and spend all the money. do not tell me you are the republican and do not protect the innocent. [applause] .com you are a republican -- do not tell me you are a republican and you work against job creators in this country. we have a lot of work to do. you know, one of the things -- what is it that we could do? if you were given a one end were told that you had one wish -- a wand and were told that you had one wish to change america, what would you do? i would tell you what mine would be. i tell you what one would be. it would be to pass a constitutional amendment to the u.s. constitution that requires a balanced budget. [applause]
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there is nothing more powerful to this country than to say to those in washington, d.c., "this is how much money we have and this is all you can spend." this is what needs to happen in this country. people are starting to wake up. thank god. we have come out of the fog. we have not landed it, but we see the airport down there. the work that you all are going to do -- and these 2010 elections are so powerful. there has never been an election that is more important to us as a people than 2010, let the men and women who are going to go to washington, d.c. and say no to this administration, men and women who are going to be principal followers of those simple -- to be principled followers of those simple principles.
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americans just want you to keep our tax structure low, our regulatory climate fair and balanced, a legal system that does not allow for over-suing. as a matter of fact, those things need to happen in the states. let the states compete against each other. if there is some gov. or legislature somewhere that thinks that it is important to raise their taxes high, they need to have a regulatory climate that is burden some, you need to halt the trial lawyers to shoot at every whim -- you need to help the trial lawyers to sue at every whim, and an educational system -- i should not talk about california in a regular way like that. [laughter] you need to call them up. people do it.
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they do it because they vote with their feet. people are moving out of those states that have high taxes. boc what the detroit, michigan looks like today. -- go see what detroit, michigan looks like today. they're moving to states that has an environment that allows them to be free. that is what 2010 is really about. it is about freedom and about men and women will go to washington, d.c. and tell washington that we will know longer take the freedoms away from the people. and get back to the constitution. have a strong stand on republican [unintelligible] the momentum is building. ralph, if you had told me a year ago that we would see this powerful resurgence -- let me tell you, in january 2009, i had
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my head under my wing. i was feeling unwell whether, politically. i thought we were in deep, deep trouble. and something really interesting happened. on april 15, t parties all across this country, men and women saying, "read the constitution." [applause] i want to say thank you to everyone of you who went to every tea party were involved in. you're bringing back america to its rightful place. that is what this election is about. god bless you and, through you, may god continue to bless this great country that we live in. thank you.
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[cheers and applause] >> tomorrow, we continue our coverage from the seventh republican leader conference. speakers include rick santorum and ron paul and michael steele. live coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
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coming up, the fed and just -- the financial crisis in korea commission talked to former executives of fannie mae. after that, a speech by the i iranian president on manage shot -- by the iranian president. >> tomorrow, michelle obama's white house meeting with students talking about preventing childhood obesity. this document the -- this documentary focused on obesity in america. she will answer students' questions. this is tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern on c-span.
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five >> what in the world is more ridiculous than american politics? >> for the past year, the grid or brothers have become viral hit makers with autotu withne the news. we will talk to them on sunday night with q &a. students from 45 states submitted videos on one of the country's greatest strengths or a challenge the country is facing watch the top videos every morning on c-span just before "washington journal." at 8:30, meet the students who made them. for a preview of all the winners, visit the stud entcam.org. >> not to the third days of hearings on the 2008 financial crisis.
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witnesses include two former high-ranking executives. the financial crisis inquiry commission has six members appointed by democrats and four republican appointees. it is scheduled to deliver a report to congress by some timber 15, of this year. -- by september 15, of this year. >> we have been examining the issues of subprime lending and securitization and how they might have affected the financial crisis and contributed to the financial crisis that has gripped our country.
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>> this morning, we will be hearing from two executives who were with fannie mae. thank you very much for joining us this morning. i will start off by asking you to do what we have customarily done with all witnesses to date and we will do with all witnesses from here forward is to ask you to both stand so i can administer the oath to you. do you solemnly swear under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to provide the commission should be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to the best of your knowledge? thank you, very much. we are going to start this morning by asking each of you to give an oral opening statement but we have your testimony in hand and we thank you for that. we would like you each to take no more than 10 minutes for your
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oral statement and mr. levin, we will start with you. we are ready for your testimony. before i start, mr. vice chairman, would you like to make any opening remarks? >> no, thank you, mr. chairman. i would take the opportunity to ask that if over the rest of the commission's existence we have reason to continue discussion over the material you have presented, would to be willing to respond to written questions in a timely fashion in an ongoing way? thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. levin, proceed. >>one last item. you see a light in front of you. it will move to yellow with one minute to go and read when time is up.
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-- and red when time is up. [no audio] my >> if you could move the microphone a bit closer. is the light on? >> it needs to be closer. >> we will start your time over. >> that sounds better. start over.
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let's go. >> start over from scratch, sir? mr. chairman, vice chairman, distinguished commissioners, thank you for providing me the opportunity to appear before you today to assess the condition in examining the causes of the financial crisis. as you know, i submitted to the commission a written statement in advance of the hearing and i will not repeat the detailed explanations but i thought i would highlight my thoughts now. i am happy to provide whatever assistance i can and will do my best to answer all of your questions to the best of my ability. i was at fannie mae for 27 years until my retirement in 2008. while i let fannie mae prior to a takeover, i continue to work as an adviser to senior management for about six months
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at the request of the new ceo. at fannie mae, i was put to work with many fine individuals and individuals including mortgage lenders, community groups, and other stakeholders to help americans achieve the dream of home ownership and affordable rental housing. my pride at the contribution of fannie mae has understandably been overshadowed by the event that give rise at this hearing. for my perspective, said in may was engulfed by an unprecedented decline in home prices and resulting dislocations in the housing market. these were truly catastrophic. while some people saw a correction, few, if any, predicted the unusual destruction of real estate values that occurred. in hindsight, if we had been
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able to anticipate the nature and extent of the crisis that engulfed the market, it is clear that we would have conducted our business differently during this period. we, like everybody else, were surprised by the unprecedented extent of the crisis. fannie mae, and like other financial institutions, was restricted to one class of assets because we took the brunt of the crisis had on. at the same time, the global economy was in the middle of the liquidity crisis the damage to the capital markets. shortly thereafter, on employment rose. this extraordinary upheaval challenged fannie mae in ways that would have been difficult to overcome, regardless of any business decisions that preceded the crisis. as the commission is aware, congress created fannie mae as a
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government-sponsored enterprise and as such, we had a variety of import stakeholders' which includes congress, safety and soundness regulators that and investors, mortgage lenders, housing organizations and others. as a private company, we raised capital from investors and sought to provide them with a competitive rate of return. as a company with a public purses -- public purpose, but sought to enter the liquidity of the mortgage market and to promote affordable housing, which also included meeting the government-mandated housing goals. the housing goals were set forth in our charter act. some of the goals or related to single family business and some to multi-family. a specified percentage of our business before families at lower income levels and other goals required that a
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percentage be located in certain places in the country. hud crushed these goals from time to time come up frequently requiring affordable housing that was hired from what our naturally -- what are market would naturally produce. in response, we engaged in efforts to create business to help us meet these goals. these included out which programs and the application of different underwriting and pricing standards. part of our business and the secondary mortgage market as the purchase and securitized loans created by lenders. our influence on the type of loans often change depending upon the availability of alternative sources. when fannie mae was a principal source of capital, the influence was greater. when other sources were more
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plentiful, as in the period prior to the crisis, our influence was diminished. fannie mae and the other g se's units. we took our role very seriously. throughout most of my 27 years, the company was able to balance successfully the potentially conflicting objectives. however, this was more difficult with the markets experienced significant change and during periods of great stress in the system. the growth in the last decade of the private-label mortgage backed securities market was one such change that had significant impact on the mortgage market and fannie mae. private label securities are securities issued by entities other than fannie mae or freddie mac. there are three main types of
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mortgage products. subprime mortgages, same mortgages and a jumbo loans. in 2003, which was also a year heavy activity, the size of the market was about half of the size of fed may's security issuances. in 2004, that changed dramatically. the pls market increased in fannie mae decrease. it almost reached the levels of fannie mae and freddie mac combined. in 2005, and early 2006, that trend continued with a dollar volume withpls issued exceeding the mbs issue by fannie mae, freddie mac combined. the effects of pls on fannie mae's business or significant. our business activity relative to the overall market declined dramatically during this period
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of time. secondly, many of the new products funded by pls have features that attractive low income borrowers which threatened our ability to meet our mandated housing goals. fannie mae had never previously experienced market changes of the magnitude that we were seeing during this period. there was an article in thousand six and a publication called "mortgage banking" which i state -- which i quote, a change in the mortgage-backed securities market that began more than two years ago appears to have completely reshuffled the industry's deck of cards. issuers are now holding the ace is that for once held by the government-sponsored enterprises, fannie mae and freddie mac. was a junior, the powerful player in the market, pls are now the leading force driving product innovation and that
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overall volume of mortgage origination. further, it appears that the new dominant role for private securities may be here to say. it confronted fannie mae with critical strategic questions. first with a change that is temporary -- were the changes permanent or temporary and second, would we best be able to stay relevant to customers and meet our mission requirements by doing nothing new or by increasing our participation in these markets by some degree? these and related questions with the subject of continuous and serious discussion and in-depth analysis by the management team and board of directors at fannie mae over the last decade. we addressed these issues at a serious of dedicated strategic
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planning sessions as well as day to day discussions. we considered the credit risks, our capabilities to manage the business and the impact on our achievement of housing goals and our strategic positioning in the marketplace. these considerations led management to expand the already existing business incrementally over time. management continued to mitigate risk by applying underwriting standards that were more conservatives that the standard prevalent in the market at the time. although resisted disproportionate losses, we performed better than the market and saw smaller losses than otherwise might have occurred. our involvement in the subprime market was minimal. it primarily consisted of the aaa rated private label securities secured by subprime loans and these purchases contributed greatly to housing
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goal objectives. with the benefit of hindsight, had we anticipated the extraordinary meltdown, we would have been far less likely to expand our involvement in these nontraditional products. we began to reduce our purchase of patients in 2007 as the market and our business took a turn for the worst. we tried to balance the pace of our withdrawal with the public mission to provide liquidity, it's critical function. >> can you brought up, please? >> yes, sir. >> an unprecedented decline, high unemployment rate, low liquidity and crisis problem, and called fannie mae and our own line of business, secondary market for mortgages. this was centered on how our market an asset class and we took the full brunt of the market crisis had on which would have been difficult for
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companies to deal with under any circumstances. thank you. i am pleased to answer any questions you have. >> thank you. mr. mudd. >> i had the opportunity to watch some of the commission's proceedings this week and having submitted remarks which cover a broad array of topics, i will try to tailor my remarks to some of the issues that you have been pursuing. to what for the opportunity to appear today. i joined fannie mae as the c o zero and 2000 following a decade at ge. -- chief operating officer in 2000 following a decade at ge. during my time at fannie mae, the company and the u.s. housing market faced many challenges. during the early part of my tenure, i worked to reinvent the
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company and move forward with a sense of purpose and value and humility. i worked to improve the relationship between fannie mae and its regulator and to return fannie mae to timely filing status with the sec. after the completion of that, one of the most complicated restatements in recent history, the company emerged to face the housing depression and the housing crisis. it did not survive. i want to be clear, i was the ceo of the company and i accept responsibility for everything that happened on my watch. over the past couple of days, i have heard mr. greenspan assigned himself a 70-30 ready and i believe the chairman gave himself a 49-31 rating. my experience was during the crisis of 2007 and 2008, it was virtually impossible to get on the positive side of that ratio
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because so many decisions were a choice between on savory alternatives. certainly, fannie mae endeavored to the best in class and to continuously improve business but we hired talented executives to build a world-class risk management modeling capabilities and maintain strong controls and comply with regulations. i did the best that i knew how to consider alternatives, to develop processes to listen to critical voices, and ultimately, to try to predict the perilous path of the housing market. i could not do what a private firm could do plan the leave the market, close the window or short mortgages. the gse's had to stay in the market, provide liquidity and overstructured to be logged only mortgages. the structure required companies to maintain a fine balance between financial goals and what we call mission goals put on one
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hand, without revenue and profit and growth, the company could not attract global capital to the u.s. housing market and on the other hand, without meeting mission goals for liquidity and housing goals, we could not meet this requirements of the congressional charter. i agree with secretary paulson's statement that it -- that the problem lies with the business model. multiple tasks were asked to be performed and that cannot withstand pressures even without the global crisis. they could perform when home prices were flat. they could survive a 30-year flood but not 2008. as you know, the gse's acquired mortgages to promote liquidity,
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stability and affordable housing for the american people. congressional-credit businesses were prohibited by law from participating in any business outside the secondary market for mortgages in the u.s. unlike other financial institutions, this left to the gse's able to diversify and therefore unable to avoid losses stemming from any u.s. housing crisis. 2007 through 2010 is not just a crisis. we witnessed the collapse of the only market that we were in. starting in dozens of income of the financial sector grappled with what most observers viewed as the worst conditions ever seen in the modern capital markets. virtually every other housing sector investors fled the market and the gse's were specifically required to pick up the slack. through the spring and summer of 2008, my colleagues and i worked
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with officials, regulators, our customers, housing advocates and others to maintain the excruciating balance between providing liquidity to keep the market functioning and protecting fed may's regulatory capital. until the time the government imposed ownership, it was stated that we maintained capital in accord with the federal standards and we were still the principal source of funding to the mortgage market. based on ogling examinations and frequent meetings into late august, 2008, our regulator continued to declare us in full compliance with our capital requirements. we were also balancing against our hud housing goals, our role and capital markets and critically, the need to help individual homeowners afford their mortgages state in their homes and avoid unnecessary for closure.
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we sought this balance consistent with a very strict interpretation of the congressional charter. as the crisis became have it, fannie mae was called upon by the administration to refinance subprime borrowers that could qualify for a fixed rate l oan. from other corners, steady and freddie pushed to raise capital for returns and cut costs. i sought to balance the fine points of mission and business and so far as i could understand them. that was no longer possible by september 6, 2008 and i am sorry for that. since that time, the companies have been operated to implement public policy. as i have tried to explain, a considerable portion of my energies went into balancing the
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increasingly conflicting demands of running a government sponsored company. the regulator declared after that the capital standards were invalid. i believe in retrospect that there was over investment and housing. i believe origination standards slip. there was too much intermediation and too many middle man put of home ownership rates probably rose to high. . gse's or a charter to expand homeownership well operating as private companies. in doing so, they contributed to the crisis but did not precipitate it. let me and by suggesting that home ownership remains an essential dream for many americans. i believe that once this crisis is behind us, the fundamental and solid economics of one ship will reassert themselves and i hope that there is an opportunity to engage in the future structure of